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The Fight to Unionize at Starbucks Lands in New York City

Plus, local group Heart of Dinner is expanding to Harlem — and more intel

A person in a green apron pours milk from a pitcher into a white Starbucks to-go cup.
Four more Starbucks locations in New York have filed petitions to unionize.
Getty Images

Following a months-long fight to unionize at three Starbucks locations in upstate New York, those efforts have found their way to the five boroughs. Employees at four Starbucks stores across Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Long Island filed petitions to unionize through the National Labor Relations Board by Thursday morning, according to the New York Times. Workers at the four stores aim to hold a vote on March 3.

In letters to Starbucks president and CEO Kevin Johnson, workers from the four stores detailed concerns about inadequate pay and unsafe work conditions during the pandemic. More than 70 elected officials, including City Council members and U.S. representatives, signed a letter to Johnson on Thursday in support of the union efforts nationally, according to the Times. “New York City is a union town and union-busting has no place here,” it read.

It’s the latest union effort from New York employees of the global coffee chain. Beginning with three Starbucks locations in the Buffalo area last year, more than 60 of the company’s coffee shops across the country have since looked to unionize in recent months. Two stores, both located in Buffalo, have so far elected to join Workers United, an arm of the Service Employees International Union. A third Starbucks in the area voted against unionizing in December.

Heart of Dinner heads to Harlem

Heart of Dinner, a group that’s distributed tens of thousands of meals, groceries, and care packages to Asian elders during the pandemic, is expanding to Harlem. In an Instagram post on Wednesday, the group shared that there are about 600 elderly Asian residents in and around Harlem who would benefit from its services. “We’re in the midst of setting up the foundation of another Heart of Dinner packing site,” the post says. The group is looking to partner with volunteers and restaurants in the area.

A coffee shop opens with guava passionfruit Poptarts

To celebrate the opening of Olas Coffee, Williamsburg’s newest cafe and coffee roaster, star Brooklyn baker Lani Halliday will serve her pastries from the space for its first three days, and “maybe longer.” Halliday plans to sell miso chocolate chip cookies and guava passionfruit Poptarts from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. all weekend long, starting on Friday. The cafe opens at 495 Lorimer Street, near Powers Street, in Williamsburg.

A snack-packed Japanese discount store expands

Daiso, a Japanese “dollar store” with an international cult following, is opening its second New York City location in Brooklyn. The market will open above Sunrise Mart, in Industry City’s Japan Village, on February 25, according to Time Out. Featured among the Daiso’s range of discounted products are Japanese snacks — including noodle soups, condiments, and candy — and baking supplies.