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A local Starbucks in Rockford has joined the movement to unionize after a 16-2 victory in a union election...

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ROCKFORD (WREX) -- Baristas at Perryville Starbucks here in Rockford location are moving forward with the unionization process after a winning vote in a union election. 

The inspiration came from another Starbucks in Buffalo unionizing. Later, baristas at Perryville reached out to workers united to join the unionization movement.

During COVID workers felt like Starbucks did not have their back when it came down to protection, precautions and public safety, and workers were even blamed for following those restrictions.

A shift manager at the Perryville location said not much was done on their behalf.

"We were essentially told that the if the CDC says this then we have to follow it, and it is what it is," she said.

"They would empathize with us and be supportive and give us time to go to the back and collect ourselves if we needed too, but ultimately there was no resolution just something we had to accept day-to-day that anytime you clock in you could essentially be verbally assault by somebody."

A loyal, Hailey Sweet, who also works in a hospital says she understands the reason behind the unionization from a medical perspective. 

After many meetings and works on an election process the votes were calculated during a meeting yesterday confirming their 16-2 victory.

Cici Church says this victory will allow them to have a say in what in stores moving forward.

"Our majority goal is to have a literal seat at the table instead of a figurative one. Now that we are officially unionized we will officially have a voice when those changes are made."

Their next event will be next Friday where they will host a 'Sippin' event to encourage support for the community until further negotiations take place.

A spokesperson from Starbucks says they are glad that they are practicing their rights.

"We are listening and learning from the partners in these stores as we always do across the country. We’ve been clear that we respect all our partners’ voices and their legal right to organize."

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