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Newport News Starbucks votes to unionize

The decision comes as hundreds of Starbucks locations nationwide also make the call these past several months.

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. — A Newport News Starbucks officially joins the wave of a nationwide labor movement.

The Oyster Point location held its union election Thursday. The vote reportedly ended with 11-to-7 in favor of forming a union.

This store is the first in Hampton Roads to do so.

RELATED: Yes, labor law allows Starbucks to offer raises to unionized workers

Some pro-union workers at Oyster Point said they want to enact positive change like higher wages, better working conditions and maintenance improvements.

“Amazing, honestly, we worked very hard for this. And it certainly has been a number of weeks. It’s incredible to finally be here," said barista Duncan Young right after the ballots were counted. 

“So surreal and I’m really, really happy we made it this far. I’m just so excited," said barista Genevieve Smith. 

The next steps include bargaining and contract negotiations with corporate leaders.

Generally speaking, however, the corporation opposes unionization efforts.

A previous statement from a Starbucks spokesperson said the following.

"We’ve been clear in our belief that we are better together as partners, without a union between us, and that conviction has not changed," the statement read. 

RELATED: Employees at Newport News Starbucks file for union election

Some pro-union Starbucks workers also plan to rally at 5 p.m. on Friday, May 20, outside the William & Mary graduation ceremony. They want to ask commencement speaker and Starbucks Board Chair Mellody Hobson to stop so-called "union-busting."

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