Workers at 21 Starbucks stores across the country, including one in Seal Beach, have filed petitions with the National Labor Relations Board to unionize in the largest single-day filing in company history.

The Seal Beach & St. Cloud store, located at 12430 Seal Beach Blvd., joined two other California stores in Antioch and San Jose as well as stores from 13 other states, including Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Louisiana, North Dakota, New York, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington and Wisconsin, in the mass filing.

“Across the country management is cutting hours, writing inconsistent and unreliable schedules, and placing more and more work on fewer and fewer partners,” the workers wrote in a joint letter to Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan.

“We ‘partners’ demand a say. We are the face of Starbucks,” they wrote. “As employees, we deserve the same respect and dignity as the CEO.”

Since December 2021, nearly 400 Starbucks locations in 42 states and the District of Columbia have unionized, according to Starbucks Workers United. The growing national movement already represents more than 9,500 baristas at nearly 400 locations.

In May 2022, locations in Long Beach (Seventh Street and Redondo Avenue) and Lakewood (Candlewood Street) became the first Starbucks in Southern California to unionize.

The grassroots unionization effort is centered around demands for the company to end its “illegal union-busting campaign” and bargain in good faith with workers seeking better working conditions, higher pay, fair scheduling and policies to address discrimination and harassment on the job, according to the union.

In more than 50 separate decisions, federal judges have found Starbucks committed more than 400 labor law violations, including unlawful firings, refusal to bargain and denial of benefits and wage increases for unionized workers.

In October 2023, a federal judge ruled former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz violated labor law when he told a worker to “work for another company” when they asked about the company’s response to questions related to stores unionizing.

“I’m voting to unionize because we deserve consistent work hours and a place that values baristas’ input on better working conditions,” Damian Velazquez, a shift supervisor at Seal Beach, said in a statement. “When suggestions or concerns have been brought to Starbucks management, little or no action has been taken in the past to resolve or value our opinion.

“Additionally, they’ve been able to cut our hours at their own discretion, causing many partners to jeopardize their qualifications to access Starbucks benefits, or worse, lose necessary wages to survive.”