In August 2021, workers at three Starbucks stores in and around Buffalo, New York, filed union election petitions with the National Labor Relations Board. In the eight months since, close to 250 other Starbucks stores have filed similar petitions. More than 40 Starbucks stores have voted to unionize.

Starbucks workers are not alone. The NLRB reports that union election petitions were up 57% in the first half of the 2022 fiscal year, compared with the year before. Comments Kate Bronfenbrenner, director of labor education research at Cornell University’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, “Organizing is contagious.”

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