Workers at three Starbucks locations in the Buffalo area will vote in separate elections on whether to form a union. Should they vote to organize, the workers would form the first union within corporate-owned stores.

The National Labor Relations Board Oct. 28 turned back a challenge from the company, which argued that a store-by-store vote was not appropriate. Starbucks had sought a single vote. The NLRB’s ruling came a day after Seattle-based coffee giant unveiled a plan to increase wages company-wide.

The group behind the organizing effort, Starbucks Workers United, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union, called the NLRB’s ruling “a significant victory.” Mail-in ballots will be sent to the workers Nov. 10.

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