Starbucks workers in Oviedo win union vote, become 1st Central Florida store to organize

Workers won union with a vote of 24-6, organizers say

(Justin Sullivan, 2021 Getty Images)

OVIEDO, Fla. – Starbucks workers in Oviedo had their votes counted Thursday by the National Labor Relations Board, winning their bid to join the Starbucks Workers United union.

The pro-union vote was won by a count of 24 - 6 in favor, according to labor organizer and Starbucks employee Roy Sistovaris.


“My coworkers are very excited. Everybody seems really energized, and we’re planning on having, like, little celebratory you-get-together later in the evening,” Sistovars said.

The Starbucks store — located at 305 E. Mitchell Hammock Road, near the intersection with South Central Avenue — has been working to organize since the workers there sent a letter of intent in March to Starbucks Workers United for their unionization efforts.

Sistovaris, who also works as a barista trainer, said the ultimate outcome of the vote was never in doubt.

“I would not have even bothered in the first place if I thought that there was any chance that it wouldn’t come to fruition,” he said.

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The organizer said none of the members of management has spoken to him about the union win as of this report.

“They were present on the call actually and didn’t say anything,” Sistovaris said.

The organizer said he is now awaiting contact from the national union and its bargaining committee so the workers in Oviedo can all get on the same page.

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Sistovaris said he would also welcome a conversation with his co-workers who cast the six “no” votes.

“We’re a very tight-knit store. If anybody has any grievances of any kind, they’re going to come up, and we’re going to talk about it because we’re just like that,” Sistovaris said. “I’m also not like, personally offended by anybody who voted no. I’m not going to expect anybody to sell me, but if anyone decides to go out there and be like, ‘Hey, here’s what I was thinking when I did this,’ I would love to talk to somebody about it.”

Sistovaris said he also plans to get in contact with organizers at a Winter Park location that is also making a bid to unionize.

The labor movement within Starbucks stores started in December when a New York location of the coffee chain became the first to organize.

Starbucks previously stated that it is not in favor of unionization efforts.

“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,” a Starbucks spokesperson said to News 6 in a May statement.

The company also previously stated in a letter to its workers, “the vote outcomes will not change our shared purpose or how we will show up for each other. … We will keep listening, we will keep connecting, and we will keep being in service of one another because that’s what we’ve always done and what it means to be partner(s).”

About the Author:

Thomas Mates is a digital storyteller for News 6 and He also produces the podcast Florida Foodie. Thomas is originally from Northeastern Pennsylvania and worked in Portland, Oregon before moving to Central Florida in August 2018. He graduated from Temple University with a degree in Journalism in 2010.