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Baristas at Royal Oak Starbucks Location Join Union Organizing Efforts

Plus, New Dodge in Hamtramck under new management by the Detroit Shipping Co.

A Starbucks sign looks down on two pedestrians.
Starbucks Sign
Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images
Serena Maria Daniels is the editor for Eater Detroit.

Baristas at the Starbucks store at Third and Main in Royal are the latest to seek union representation. A majority of hourly employees at the location have signed authorization cards to unionize with Workers United International.

On Tuesday, Oct. 11, workers filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board and are waiting for a date to hold an election to unionize. In all, at least 12 Michigan Starbucks locations have voted to form a union, including in five stores in Ann Arbor, Clinton Township, Bloomfield Township, Mount Pleasant, and elsewhere across the lower peninsula.

In a letter sent to Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz on Friday, Oct. 7, the Royal Oak store’s union organizing committee had this to say: “Our pleas and suggestions as workers have fallen upon obstinate ears with upper management and we have come to the conclusion that unionization is the only feasible solution to remedy the problems we face on the floor and in the economic environment in this country.”

In other Michigan Starbucks news, a National Labor Relations Board judge has ruled that the company illegally fired an Ann Arbor store employee because of her union activism. According to a Bloomberg story published Oct. 7 on Crain’s Detroit, an agency judge ordered that the worker be reinstate with back pay. Starbucks is also ordered to hold a meeting with employees, management representatives, the government, and union officials to inform employees of their rights and of the labor board’s ruling that the company broke the law.

A brick building with a sign that says Woodward Corner Market in white
The exterior of Woodward Corner Market in Royal Oak. The grocery store will soon welcome a new Avalon Bakery cafe.

Woodward Corner Market also gets an Avalon Cafe

The cafe space at Woodward Corner Market in Royal Oak formerly occupied by Great Lakes Coffee Roasting Company before baristas companywide went on strike earlier this year is going to be home to an Avalon Bakery cafe. Following in the footsteps of the supermarket’s sister location, Rivertown Market on East Jefferson in Detroit, the Woodward Corner Market will welcome Avalon International Breads as a new tenant in the coming weeks, according to a media release. Customers will be able to offer coffee and espresso beverages, sandwiches and a variety of grab-and-go food items. Both Woodward Corner Market and Rivertown Market are owned and operated by Meijer as smaller-scale versions of the Michigan-based super stores.

The New New Dodge Lounge

The New Dodge Lounge in Hamtramck is reopening under new management this month. The stalwart dive bar is now run by the same team that manages the Detroit Shipping Co. in Midtown, according to the Metro Times. Among the updates, new arcade games, live music three days a week, service industry nights, karaoke, and a major cleanup. A grand re-opening for the bar is supposed to take place on Saturday, Oct. 22.