(AP) — Starbucks said Monday that it wants to start contract negotiations next month at hundreds of U.S. stores that have voted to unionize.

The Seattle coffee giant said it sent letters to 238 stores offering a three-week window in October to start negotiations.

All of those stores — located in 36 states and the District of Columbia — have voted to unionize this year in elections that were certified by the National Labor Relations Board.

But Workers United, the union organizing Starbucks’ stores, expressed skepticism about the company’s request. Starbucks opposes the unionization of its 9,000 company-owned U.S. stores. Last month, the company asked the National Labor Relations Board to temporarily halt all elections because of evidence of misconduct.

The unionization effort began late last year at a Starbucks store in Buffalo, New York. That store and two others — one in New York and one in Arizona — are the only ones currently negotiating contracts.

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