Employees at Albuquerque Starbucks file petition to unionize

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ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – One of the busiest Starbucks locations in New Mexico could be the first one in the state to unionize. 

A group of employees at the location near I-40 and Rio Grande filed a petition to unionize Monday. 

“It just felt like it was needed, so we wanted to get it started,” said Madz Dazzo, one of the employees organizing the efforts. 

Dazzo and fellow employee Jacob Sherwood said they reached out to Starbucks Workers United about the process after watching other Starbucks locations across the country successfully vote to unionize. 

“We’ve been experiencing a lot of the same things that other stores have been across the country and unions are a good way to protect us,” Dazzo said. 

Both employees say they want better working conditions.

They say the location at I-40 and Rio Grande is struggling from a labor shortage, despite being one of the busiest locations in Albuquerque. 

“We’re extremely understaffed here,” Sherwood said. “So like, if we’re working understaffed shifts, we’d love to get paid more and to be able to compensate us for working down a person or down two people.” 

They are also looking for job security and better health care benefits. 

Sherwood said they stayed quiet about the process before they filed in order to avoid potential pushback. 

“We kept it really quiet. I don’t think they even knew like we were even attempting to do this,” Sherwood said. “That whole corporate retaliation had a lot of people worried about their jobs and how they’re going to support their families.” 

Sherwood said the store is expected to hold a union vote in the coming months. 70% of employees will have to vote yes to form a union. 

Both employees are optimistic their fellow workers will stand with them. 

“It really makes us feel like more like a team as opposed to just individuals working somewhere,” Dazzo said. 

KOB 4 is not aware of any other Starbucks locations in New Mexico planning to unionize. Sherwood and Dazzo believe they could be keeping things quiet as well until they are ready to file a petition.