The polls closed for the Maple Street Starbucks union election at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday (June 4), and 15 minutes later, the count was announced. The workers at the 7700 Maple Street location had voted overwhelmingly to unionize. With the final count 11-1 in favor of forming a union, this Starbucks will be the first in Louisiana to unionize. A total of 14 votes were cast, but two were contested.
The Maple Street coffeehouse joins more than 100 Starbucks stores nationwide that have unionized in the past seven months, since a Buffalo, New York, store became the first in December 2021. The Maple Street Starbucks workers will be a part of the national union known as Workers United.
Reporters, supporters and off-the-clock baristas waited for the results outside the polling place across the street from the coffeehouse, as the temperature soared over 90 degrees.
This is the first Silver Lining, an Uptown Messenger series on locally owned small businesses that are thriving during the COVID-19 pandemic. Maple Small Animal Clinic has a different pandemic story to tell from many of our local businesses. For one thing, it does not depend on the tourist trade. And veterinary clinics are considered an essential business, so it never had to shut down. The clinic changed its protocol to curbside drop-off and pickup, but it stayed fully staffed and did not need to limit its services.
The New Orleans Police Department on Wednesday arrested a 21-year-old man in the shooting death of a college student earlier this month outside some popular Maple Street bars. Alec Billiot, 21, was booked on one count of second-degree murder in the killing of 20-year-old Lee Long Jr. and on five counts of attempted second-degree murder. He faces a life prison term if convicted on the murder charge. Long was shot to death at about 1:45 a.m. on Jan. 10 at Hillary and Burthe streets.