A rally outside the unionizing Mission Street Starbucks in May.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Starbucks’ labor practices in court, new COVID data & our political environment

Good morning, Santa Cruz County! It is Tuesday, Aug. 30, and sunny skies will prevail around our fair county, with highs around 90 in the mountains to 70ish closer to the water ... and brace yourselves, because a warmup is on the way this coming holiday weekend.

Rather explore the Lookout latest? Onward you go.
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Negotiations have yet to begin between Starbucks and a pair of its Santa Cruz stores seeking to unionize, but the sides are headed to court over claims of unfair labor practices by the coffee giant, Max Chun reports.

I’ve also got an update on local COVID-19 data, with numbers continuing to trend lower even as Santa Cruz County reported two more deaths in the past week.

And in a Community Voices opinion piece, former mayor Mike Rotkin weighs in on the political environment in the city of Santa Cruz, arguing that factors including meager pay and increasing abuse are keeping experienced candidates on the sidelines.

Before we get to the headlines, though: Got plans this here Tuesday evening? If you missed Lookout’s first Trivia Night at Abbott Square, or want another crack at it, you’re in luck! Wallace Baine will reprise his host-with-the-most role for this free event, and you can find out more and register here. (There’s a special treat for Lookout members, too, so get on that if you’re not one already.)

OK, to the headlines!

Still no local Starbucks union negotiations, but NLRB to hold unfair labor practice hearing

The crowd celebrates outside of the Mission Street Starbucks
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Three months ago, the Starbucks on Mission Street and Ocean Street in Santa Cruz became the first Starbucks stores in California to vote to unionize. The process of agreeing to a contract was expected to move slowly, and negotiations still have yet to begin. There’s currently no timetable for the bargaining kickoff, but the parties will meet in federal court Sept. 13 for a hearing on a charge of unfair labor practices. Max Chun has the update.

MORE: Joe Thompson, lead organizer for unionizing Starbucks, is just getting started (Lookout)

Wastewater Data as of Sept. 27
(Via California Department of Public Health)

With an Omicron-specific vaccine around the corner, local numbers are trending downward even as Santa Cruz County reported two more pandemic deaths. Find the latest figures here.

LOOKING AHEAD: California schools back with fewer COVID rules, lagging vaccine rate. Winter surge coming? (Los Angeles Times)

DAILY DIGEST

Santa Cruz County Job Board

Much to gnaw on this Tuesday, and as usual, there’s more coming from Lookout. Save some room on your plate for another helping of Lily Belli on Food, arriving in mere hours. Make sure you don’t miss a thing by bookmarking Lookout and and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Another good way to make sure you don’t miss a thing? Why, becoming a Lookout member, of course! Our content isn’t possible without community support, so please consider a membership if you don’t have one already. Hey, makes an excellent gift, too.

Have a stellar Tuesday, and I’ll catch you back here Wednesday a.m.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz