Starbucks Corp. employees at three more restaurants in New York state will vote on unionization, a U.S. labor official ruled Friday, offering organizers a chance to expand a new labor foothold thats already inspiring copycat efforts around the country. 

In her ruling, Nancy Wilson, an acting regional director of the National Labor Relations Board, rejected the companys arguments against holding store-by-store votes. She ordered that ballots be mailed to employees on January 31 and due back by February 22.

Employees at the three stores will vote on joining Workers United, the same Service Employees International Union affiliate that recently won elections at two other sites in the same Buffalo region. Those two restaurants represent the sole unionized locations at Starbuckss roughly 9,000 corporate-run U.S. locations. 


Workers are also slated to vote on joining Workers United this month in Arizona, and others have petitioned for votes in cities including Boston, Chicago, Seattle, Knoxville, Tennessee, and the companys hometown of Seattle. The campaign has continued to spread this week, with new election petitions filed in Ohio, New Jersey, and Florida.

In a December letter to employees, the companys North America president Rossann Williams reiterated that we do not want a union between us as partners, but that we respect the legal process, and will bargain in good faith at the first New York store where the union prevailed.

Starbucks shares fell 3% to $99.29 at 11:15 a.m. in New York amid a broader decline in U.S. stocks. 

(Updates with context starting in third paragraph)