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  • Writer's pictureDeirdre McCrohan

Effort to unionize Strawberry Starbucks fails in narrow vote

An effort co-led by a local teen to unionize the Strawberry Starbucks has narrowly failed, with the organizers saying the vote turned on two ballots that were apparently mailed but weren’t received by the National Labor Relations Board.

The employees at the Strawberry Village Shopping Center coffee shop rejected union membership in a close 7-6 vote tallied June 6, according to organizers Emma Orrick of Tiburon and Ella Clark of Tam Valley.

However, Ella said two baristas told her they had voted in favor of unionizing and mailed their postage-paid ballots soon after receiving them in mid-May; for unknown reasons, the ballots didn’t make it to the National Labor Relations Board’s San Francisco office by the 2 p.m. June 6 deadline.

“I’m gutted, but we did everything we could,” Ella said. “A majority of the store’s employees cast votes for a union, but two of those ballots weren’t received. I’m really frustrated about that.”

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