The Starbucks at 16806 Georgia Ave. in Olney plans to unionize. It would be the first Starbucks in Montgomery County to do so. Credit: Photos by Dan Schere

Fourteen employees at a Starbucks in Olney are planning to unionize, making the location the first of the chain’s coffee shops in Montgomery County to try to unionize, according to filings with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

According to a petition filed April 6 with the NLRB, all full-time and regular part-time baristas, shift supervisors and assistant store managers are involved in the effort to unionize at the store, which is at 16806 Georgia Ave.

The NLRB filing states that a vote for workers on joining the union is scheduled for May 20.

Workers at select Starbucks across the country have been voting to unionize ever since December, when a store in Buffalo, N.Y., did so. Last month, a Starbucks in Baltimore became the first in Maryland to unionize, Maryland Matters reported.

Workers United posted on its Twitter account Tuesday that a Starbucks in Linthicum had also voted to join the union.

According to the website, More Perfect Union, a media outlet that keeps track of developments in the labor industry, four Starbucks in Maryland have filed union petitions and two have unionized. The Olney location is the only Starbucks located in Montgomery County that is attempting to unionize, according to a map on the website. There are at least 50 Starbucks in Montgomery County, according to the company’s website.


The Olney Starbucks unionization petition is being filed by the Mid-Atlantic Regional Joint Board of Workers United – a union representing more than 4,000 members that work in the food service, auto supply, hospitality, gaming, apparel, retail and manufacturing industries, among others. The chapter includes membership in six states, including Maryland, as well as Washington, D.C.

Montgomery Community Media previously reported on the Olney Starbucks’ plans to unionize in April.


When a Bethesda Beat reporter visited the Olney Starbucks on Tuesday, a manager referred questions to Jay-Ar Boac, the Rockville district manager for Starbucks. Boac did not respond to two phone calls or a text message seeking comment Tuesday. 

Starbucks, in response to an inquiry from Bethesda Beat, released a statement Tuesday saying the company is “listening and learning from the partners in these stores, as we always do across the country,” but that the company has been “clear in our belief that we are better together as partners, without a union between us, and that conviction has not changed.”

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said in the statement that the company will become the best version of itself “by co-creating our future directly as partners.”


“And we will strengthen the Starbucks community by upholding each other’s dreams; upholding the standards and rituals of the company; celebrating partner individuality and voice; and upholding behaviors of mutual respect and dignity,” he said in the statement.

Dan Schere can be reached at