Starbucks workers across the nation have shown their frustration to the higher-ups through staff shortages, grueling shifts and COVID.

New Mexico has joined in.

In early August, Starbucks baristas formed a union in Albuquerque — the first in the state to do so. So far the union lead by local Labor Union President Ashlee Long doesn’t have many NM stores involved.

RR stores have not made it clear if they want to join the union, create their own, or not join at all. There are at least five stores in the Sandoval County area, with a new one being built on Hwy. 550.

One store in Santa Fe sent a letter to Howard Schultz, chief executive officer of the Starbucks company and chain, which explained why they were unionizing.

“We have been without proper support and management, and our ability to serve and connect with customers has suffered for it. Amidst an ongoing pandemic, we have been asked to choose between our health and our paycheck. We have each been asked to carry the workload of two people on back-to-back shifts,” the letter obtained by the Observer said.

The store’s employees emphasized that even though they are offered plenty of benefits, they believe the company could do more for employees as a whole. Many employees put their names on the document, but a few did not for fear of retaliation.

Starbucks acknowledged these cries for help in a recent letter to staff which the Observer also obtained.

“We know that recently we haven’t lived up to what you should expect from Starbucks. There were external problems like the challenges brought on by the COVID pandemic, but also problems we created ourselves like not focusing enough on staffing, security, and operations.  We believe that you deserve better and that we have a responsibility to do right by you,” the letter said.

Read the rest of Starbucks’ statement here.