Workers at the Starbucks Flagship Reserve Roastery in the Meatpacking district of New York City went on strike late last week, protesting alleged cleanliness issues. Ironically, on that same day, Starbucks announced that another Reserve store in New York City would be opening this month inside the Empire State Building. The new store, comprising 23,000 square feet over three floors and featuring cocktails, elevated foods and exclusive coffee drinks, will be the only store to feature the company’s new brewing method, but it will not have a coffee roaster on site. While the number of Starbucks locations petitioning for union representation elections has slowed across the country, the company continues to battle on the unionizing front with a plethora of challenges before the National Labor Relations Board as well as several locations formally voting to strike against the company. On the brighter side of the union ledger, employees in an Albany Amazon facility voted nearly 2 to 1 against joining the Amazon Labor Union (ALU), the fledgling union that won one of its unionization attempts in Staten Island’s JFK8 warehouse earlier this year. Many Albany employees were afraid that joining a union would reduce their earnings and were skeptical of the union’s lack of experience. We’ll continue to keep a close watch on union activities especially in the wake of the midterm elections.