Four partners at the N. Charles location in Baltimore—(From left to right) Jennifer Clawson, Violet Sovine, Nico Finol, and Kieren Levy—pose for a photo minutes after their store became the first Starbucks in Maryland to unionize. Photo taken on April 25, 2022, by Maximillian Alvarez.
On Monday, April 25, the N. Charles cafe in Baltimore’s Mt. Vernon neighborhood became the first Starbucks location in Maryland to unionize. The final election results, certified by the National Labor Relations Board, were a clean sweep: 14 “Yes” votes and zero “No” votes out of 22 eligible voters, with zero voided ballots. In this special podcast edition of Battleground Baltimore, recorded minutes after the official vote count, TRNN Editor-in-Chief Maximillian Alvarez speaks with four Starbucks partners from the N. Charles location—Violet Sovine, Nico Finol, Jennifer Clawson, and Kieren Levy—about their collective fight for an inclusive, safe, and democratic workplace, and about the larger movement to organize Starbucks partners across the country.
Pre-Production/Studio: Maximillian Alvarez Post-Production: Jules Taylor
The transcript of this podcast will be made available as soon as possible.
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Workers at Maryland’s first unionized Starbucks describe their fight for workplace democracy
by Maximillian Alvarez, The Real News Network April 29, 2022
Ten years ago, I was working 12-hour days as a warehouse temp in Southern California while my family, like millions of others, struggled to stay afloat in the wake of the Great Recession. Eventually, we lost everything, including the house I grew up in. It was in the years that followed, when hope seemed irrevocably lost and help from above seemed impossibly absent, that I realized the life-saving importance of everyday workers coming together, sharing our stories, showing our scars, and reminding one another that we are not alone. Since then, from starting the podcast Working People—where I interview workers about their lives, jobs, dreams, and struggles—to working as Associate Editor at the Chronicle Review and now as Editor-in-Chief at The Real News Network, I have dedicated my life to lifting up the voices and honoring the humanity of our fellow workers.