The Times podcast: A labor union with your latte?

Starbucks union
Starbucks employees and supporters react as votes are read during a viewing of their union election on Dec. 9, 2021, in Buffalo, N.Y. Starbucks workers have voted to unionize over the company’s objections, pointing the way to a new labor model for the 50-year-old coffee giant.
(Joshua Bessex / Associated Press)

The U.S. labor movement has experienced a resurgence in recent years in sectors that historically have hired younger people. And one of the biggest battlegrounds is where you get your lattes. Today, we’re taking you to a Starbucks in Santa Cruz, where workers are demanding more from their corporate employer.


Host: Gustavo Arellano

Guests: L.A. Times business reporter Suhauna Hussain

More reading:

Starbucks workers at Santa Cruz store file union petition, joining a national push

Did baristas lose their jobs because of COVID-19 or because they tried to unionize?

Starbucks workers vote to unionize at a store in Buffalo, N.Y.

About The Times

“The Times” is made by columnist Gustavo Arellano, senior producers Denise Guerra, Shannon Lin and Kasia Broussalian and producers Melissa Kaplan, Ashlea Brown and Angel Carreras. Our engineer is Mario Diaz. Our editors are Lauren Raab and Kinsee Morlan. Our executive producers are Jazmín Aguilera and Shani O. Hilton. Our theme song was composed by Andrew Eapen.


8:21 p.m. Feb. 15, 2022: This episode has been updated to clarify when the Starbucks store in Buffalo, N.Y., filed its union petition and who resigned at the Starbucks in Santa Cruz. We also included a response from a Starbucks spokesperson about the conditions at the Santa Cruz outlet mentioned.