Unions in 2020: Gaining ground for the 1st time in decades Coffee shops are driving a massive surge in union elections in 2020. Starbucks alone accounts for more than half the growth.
An exterior view of the Starbucks Center, headquarters for the international coffee and coffeehouse chain, in Seattle
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The New Ground Zero For Unions: Coffee Houses

Marchers raise picket signs during a "Fight Starbucks' Union Busting" rally held in Seattle in April. Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Starbucks workers have unionized at record speed; many fear retaliation now

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Scott Lucey, owner of Likewise Coffee whose staff unionized in 2020, sits for a portrait on June 9, 2022 in Milwaukee. Darren Hauck for NPR hide caption

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Darren Hauck for NPR

One unionized. The other did not. How 2 Milwaukee cafés were changed by union drives

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Barista Steph Achter, who led the union campaign at the Milwaukee café now known as Likewise, has worked in different coffee shops for 17 years and wants others to be able to make a career of it as well. Darren Hauck for NPR hide caption

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Darren Hauck for NPR

The barista uprising: Coffee shop workers ignite a union renewal

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People hold signs while protesting in front of Starbucks on April 14, 2022 in New York City. Activists gathered to protest Starbucks' CEO Howard Schultz anti-unionization efforts and demand the reinstatement of workers fired for trying to unionize. Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images hide caption

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Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Starbucks Executive Chairman Howard Schultz, seen at a shareholder meeting in 2018, returned to Starbucks as interim CEO on Monday. Jason Redmond/AFP via Getty Images hide caption

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Starbucks' longtime CEO is back again. This time, things are different

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