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In a Historic Move, Starbucks Employees in Upstate New York Vote to Unionize

Plus, Junior’s Cheesecake pauses production due to the cream cheese shortage — and more intel

Closeup of an illuminated green Starbucks logo symbol at the store front of a Starbucks Coffee shop located in Midtown Manhattan.
Starbucks employees at one upstate New York store voted to unionize on Thursday.
Nicolas Economou/Getty Images

Employees at a Starbucks store in upstate New York have made company history, voting to unionize following months of negotiation and efforts to undermine the union by company officials. The results of the election, which occurred by mail ballots that were due on Wednesday, were announced by the National Labor Relations Board on Thursday and first reported by the New York Times.

The unionized workers elected to join Workers United, an arm of the Service Employees International Union. Employees at a second Starbucks in the Buffalo area voted against unionizing on Wednesday, while the outcome of an election at a third store is still being determined, according to the Times. Three additional Starbucks stores in the region filed for union elections in November, although it’s not clear when those votes will take place.

In a letter to employees following the vote, Rossann Williams, president of Starbucks retail for North America, wrote, “We continue on as we did today, yesterday and the day before that,” according to the Times. “The vote outcomes will not change our shared purpose or how we will show up for each other.”

Ha’s Đặc Biệt returns with a pho ga pop-up

Following a one-month stint in Paris, France, Vietnamese pop-up Ha’s Đặc Biệt has returned to New York City. Chefs Anthony Ha and Sadie Mae Burns will make their return at Kit (657 Washington Avenue, near Saint Marks Avenue) in Prospect Heights, with a menu of pho, bo bun, and cha gio modeled after their “favorite pho place in Paris.” The team is going from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., or until they sell out.

A cream cheese shortage brings Junior’s to its knees

The cream cheese shortage is showing no signs of slowing down, and Junior’s Cheesecake is the latest to feel the squeeze. The Brooklyn institution halted production at its New Jersey facility on Friday, December 3 after struggling to source enough cream cheese for its cheesecakes, CNN reports. Baking resumed the following Sunday, according to the New York Post, but was scheduled to pause again on Thursday, December 9.

Dante to open a seasonal pop-up at Pier 17

Dante is headed downtown next week as part of a four-month pop-up at the South Street Seaport. From December 13 through next March, the famed Greenwich Village cocktail bar will operate out of an open-air space on Pier 17 that’s outfitted with two bars, food trucks — serving flatbread and affogato — and live music on weekends.