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Why Kansas City Starbucks workers are unionizing

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Another Starbucks store in the Kansas City area is voting on whether to form a union. But baristas across the metro say the company retaliated against union efforts by threatening their health benefits. Plus, a Kansas patient says the gene therapy research that could help him is going nowhere fast.

Employees at five Starbucks stores around Kansas City have so far filed for union elections — and one of them is headed to a vote on Tuesday. But as KCUR's Jacob Martin reports, baristas say the company's union-busting efforts have made them reconsider whether the company really cares about their employees.

Advances in gene therapy over the years has afforded many with rare conditions the ability to treat what was once considered untreatable. However, some fear that the fix they need won't come so soon. KCUR’s Alex Smith has the story of a Kansas man who spent years advocating for research that he worries won’t be ready in time to help him or his family.

Contact the show at news@kcur.org. Follow KCUR on Twitter and Facebook for the latest news.

Kansas City Today is hosted today by Lisa Rodriguez. It is produced by Byron Love, Trevor Grandin and KCUR Studios, and edited by Gabe Rosenberg and Lisa Rodriguez.

You can support Kansas City Today by becoming a KCUR member: kcur.org/donate

Slow news days are a thing of the past. As KCUR’s news director, I want to cut through the noise, provide context to the headlines, and give you news you can use in your daily life – information that will empower you to make informed decisions about your neighborhood, your city and the region. Email me at lisa@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @larodrig.
Trevor Grandin is a contributing producer for KCUR Studios.