Thousands of Starbucks workers expected to go on one-day strike

Thousands of workers at more than 200 Starbucks stores in the United States plan to walk off the job Thursday in what organizers say is the largest strike yet in the two-year effort to unionize the company’s stores.

The Workers United union chose Starbucks’ annual Red Cup Day to stage the strike, as it is typically one of the busiest days of the year.

Starbucks expects to give away thousands of reusable cups on Thursday to customers who order holiday drinks.

The union said it expected more than 5,000 workers to participate in its “Red Cup Rebellion.”

About 30 stores also went on strike Wednesday.

Neha Cremin, a Starbucks barista in Oklahoma City, said she was on strike to protest lack of staffing in stores, especially during promotions like Red Cup Day.

Cremin said workers are already overwhelmed handling delivery orders, drive-thru orders, mobile orders and in-store orders; Promotions add another layer of stress.

The Workers United union chose Starbucks’ annual Red Cup Day to stage the strike.

“Short staffing hurts workers and also creates an unpleasant experience for customers,” Cremin said. “Starbucks has made it clear that it will not listen to workers, which is why we defend ourselves with a strike.”

Thursday’s strike was the fifth major labor action by Starbucks workers since a store in Buffalo, New York, became the first to unionize in late 2021.

Workers at 110 stores went on strike last year on Red Cup Day; More recently, a walkout in June protested reports that Starbucks had removed Pride displays from its stores.

More than 5,000 workers will participate in the “Red Cup Rebellion,” according to the union.

But the strikes have had little impact on Starbucks sales.

For its fiscal 2023 year, which ended Oct. 1, Starbucks reported its revenue rose 12% to a record $36 billion.

Starbucks downplayed any potential impact of Wednesday’s strike, saying it would occur in a “small subset” of the 9,600 company-owned stores in the United States.

Workers at more than 100 Starbucks locations walked out last year on Red Cup Day.
Kyle Mazza/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

“We remain committed to working with all partners, side by side, to improve every day, and we hope that Workers United’s priorities will change to include the shared success of our partners and negotiating contracts for those they represent,” Starbucks said in a statement.

At least 363 company-operated Starbucks stores in 41 states have voted to unionize since late 2021.

The Starbucks effort was at the forefront of a period of labor activism that also saw strikes by Amazon workers, auto workers, and Hollywood writers and actors.

At least 457,000 workers have participated in 315 strikes in the United States this year alone, according to Johnnie Kallas, Ph.D. candidate and project director of the Labor Action Tracker at Cornell University.

Starbucks opposes the unionization effort and has not yet reached a labor agreement with any of the stores that have voted to unionize.

The process has been controversial; The regional offices of the National Labor Relations Board have issued 111 complaints against Starbucks for unfair labor practices, including refusal to bargain.

Starbucks workers leave work holding signs to support the strike at the Starbucks coffee shop in Ledgewood, New Jersey, on September 1, 2023.
Kyle Mazza/SOPA Images/Shutterstock

Starbucks says Workers United refuses to schedule bargaining sessions.

Starbucks said it has begun negotiating with the Teamsters union, which organized a Starbucks store outside Pittsburgh in June 2022.

But both parties have not reached a labor agreement.

The Teamsters did not say Wednesday whether workers at the unionized store would also strike.

Relations between Starbucks and Workers United have become increasingly strained.

Last month, Starbucks sued Workers United, alleging that a pro-Palestinian post on a union account damaged its reputation and demanding that the union stop using the Starbucks Workers United name.

Workers United responded with its own lawsuit, saying Starbucks defamed the union by suggesting it supports terrorism and violence.

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button