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PEF officers, volunteers gather petitions to raise support and awareness for unionizing local Starbucks 
From left to right: Volunteers Lynda Ames and Steve Redler, Region 8 Coordinator Danielle Bridger, Trustee Bruce Giddings and PEF Secretary-Treasurer Joe Donahue.

Sept. 14, 2023 — “Starbucks claims to be a progressive company, but when it comes to respecting workers’ rights, you’re anything but progressive. As Starbucks customers, we are calling on you to stop stalling, get to the bargaining table, and negotiate a fair contract. No Contract, No Coffee!”

That’s the petition PEF activists and volunteers asked Starbucks customers to sign the morning of Sept. 14 at the 549 Troy-Schenectady Rd, Latham, location as part of SEIU’s Starbucks Worker Solidarity Day of Action. 

PEF Secretary-Treasurer Joe Donahue manned the drive-thru, while Trustee Bruce Giddings, Region 8 Coordinator Danielle Bridger, and volunteers Lynda Ames and Steve Redler gathered signatures from those going in and out of the building. 

They had gathered a good number of signatures by 8 a.m. 

“Overall, I think it went well,” said Donahue. “There were those that looked right through me as they drove by, but for those that stopped and asked what I was doing, they were overwhelmingly supportive and wished us well in our endeavor.” 

“It has been better than I anticipated,” Giddings said. “This is a busy location and it’s sometimes tough to get people to stop since they are in a hurry. Younger people are more likely to sign. But a lot of people have been commenting that the Starbucks workers deserve the support.” 

Bridger said many people coming in and out of the store have been supportive and are also union members. 

“They are very busy here and they deserve to have a fair wage,” she said. 

Ames and Redler, both longtime union members themselves, know the importance of union membership and said they were there to support the workers who deserve fair wages and a voice at work. 

SEIU targeted not-yet unionize Starbucks stores across the country to raise customer awareness about the workers’ right to join the union and urge them to exercise their power as consumers to help workers win the union.