A coalition of unions said Tuesday it had ended its board fight with Starbucks after the coffee chain agreed to negotiate labor agreements, a sign of progress after years of tumultuous relations between the company and its organized workers.

The union alliance Strategic Organizing Center withdrew its slate of three board candidates about a week before the March 11 shareholder vote on the 11-member board. The announcement comes more than two years after a campaign that has unionized nearly 400 Starbucks stores.

On Tuesday, the alliance said it was “time to recognize the progress that has been made and allow the company and its workers to focus on moving forward.”

“We believe it is imperative that shareholders continue to monitor the board’s performance and Starbucks’ approach to labor relations issues in the coming months, and we plan to continue holding the company accountable in the future,” the alliance said.

The decision to appoint board members was the unions’ latest attempt to pressure the company to work with them.

Starbucks workers began organizing in 2021 with three Buffalo-area stores. Since that campaign began, the National Labor Relations Board has filed numerous complaints accusing Starbucks of taking steps to resist organizing efforts, which the company has denied. According to the union alliance, Starbucks has spent more than $240 million to stifle union efforts. The two sides have also sued each other over the union’s right to use a logo that resembles Starbucks’.

Starbucks and the union representing its workers, Workers United, whose parent company is part of the labor alliance, said late last month they were beginning discussions on a “fundamental framework” to help reach labor agreements and resolve disputes over the use of the union by the union. Starbucks logo.

The union alliance said in a statement Tuesday that it had since had “significant dialogue” with shareholders who it says are optimistic that the company is focused on repairing its relationship with its workers. Starbucks shareholders last year approved a resolution directing the company to commission an evaluation of its labor practices.

“Our board’s focus remains on creating long-term value for all stakeholders, including partners, shareholders, customers and farmers,” Starbucks said in a statement Tuesday.

News was previously reported by Reuters.

Two influential advisory firms, Institutional Shareholder Services and Glass Lewis, last week recommended that shareholders vote on board candidates, in part because the parties announced they would resume talks.

Alliance nominees were not expected to win council seats. Analysts at Gordon Haskett wrote in a note last week that the vote was essentially “a referendum on the company’s labor policies and, more specifically, the resources SBUX has expended to thwart union attempts to organize.”