LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – This week, two Greater Lansing Starbucks stores voted to unionize. This decision comes after a growing number of Starbucks workers across the country voted to do the same.

Emily Grasel is a supervisor at a Starbucks on East Grand River. This location and the Lake Lansing location both voted in favor of unionizing. Grasel said all in an effort to create a better work environment.

She said it started off as an ordinary job, but that changed when managers started demanding orders be completed by nearly impossible times.

“They want us to have customer connection scores that are 100% and then they also want us to also have drive thru and mobile orders out in 30 seconds,” Grasel said.

Grasel also points out that safety is a big issue at her location and the lack of assistance when emergency situations take place.

“We have had many incidents at are store that are not safe. We have violent customers, there was an active shooter incident. Hoping to continue to get better safety precautions and making sure our managers are reachable when we need them in situations like that,” Grasel said.

In addition to pressure on the job and an unsafe work environment, Grasel said she and her colleagues don’t make enough money to make ends meet.

“We are not really getting a living wage at the moment. We do make tips but we are in a college town and college students as we all are don’t tip a lot,” Grasel said.

Grasel said she and her colleagues just want to be heard.

“We’re just trying to better communicate with them and get them to understand where we’re coming from. We’re trying to get them to trust us and to listen to us because we do know what’s going on here and we know what we need and we just need the support from them,” Grasel said.

Now that they’ve unionized, Grasel said the next step is the bargaining process.
The team plans to write up a contract and send it to officials at Starbucks in hopes of having their requests for change honored.