ABERDEEN, S.D. (KELOLAnd) — In June, we brought the news that a Starbucks in Aberdeen South Dakota was seeking to become the first in the Dakotas to unionize. Employee and organizer Ace Loyd, told us at the time that the action was in response to issues including poor working conditions, health concerns and customer health and safety.
On the evening of July 13, that unionization attempt came to an end, failing on a vote of 2-10.
“Especially in the moment, it was pretty devastating,” Loyd told us on the 14th.
Compounding the emotion is the fact that while Loyd was one of two organizers of the effort, the other person is currently out of the country for an internship opportunity.
“I was the one kind of, supposed to be here doing a lot of the groundwork — and I felt like I had failed them personally,” Loyd confided. “That’s a lot to just process all at once — that entirely encapsulating sense of failure is what it felt like.”
Now, with several hours and a shift having elapsed, Loyd says he now sees it as less of a failure and more as a stepping stone.
“I’m glad my co-workers have used their voice and made the decision that they’ve made — they deserve the right to not unionize if they feel that’s what is best for our store,” Loyd said, adding, “Progress is not linear, so I’m going to keep going forward with that hopefully.”
Loyd has never been an organizer before for something like this, but says it’s definitely something he wants to dedicate more time to.
“It was a lot,” Loyd said of the process. “Ideally, you want to get [signatures gathered] within a couple weeks — it took us months from getting the first signature to getting the petition filed.”
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