A U.S. labor official granted the request, rejecting the company’s arguments against holding store-by-store votes.
In a Friday ruling, the National Labor Relations Board’s regional director ordered that ballots be mailed out Jan. 14 to employees at a store in Mesa, Arizona, according to Bloomberg.
The regional director ruled that the employees of a single worksite constitute an appropriate voter pool for a union election.
Employees at the store have until Jan. 28 to return their ballots.
The ruling follows a labor victory last month in which Starbucks employees in New York voted to establish the first unionized restaurant among the coffee chain’s thousands of corporate-run U.S. sites.
The movement to unionize has gained momentum since as workers in cities including Boston; Chicago; Knoxville, Tennessee; and Starbucks’ hometown of Seattle all have petitioned to unionize.
The labor group representing the New York and Arizona workers is the Service Employees International Union affiliate Workers United.
In response to the Friday ruling, a Starbucks spokesperson referenced a December letter to employees at the New York store in which the company’s North America president Rossann Williams said, “We do not want a union between us as partners,” but that “we respect the legal process,” and “will bargain in good faith.”
Employees at the newly unionized New York store have staged a walkout since Wednesday over what they say are insufficient COVID-19 safeguards and staffing.
Starbucks has said it exceeds guidelines from experts and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention