Employees at over a 100 Starbucks stores have gone on strike
More than a hundred Starbucks locations across the United States are participating in a strike on Thursday, the largest such action since an effort to unionise the chain’s stores began toward the end of last year.
The protests occur on the same day that Starbucks gives away free reusable cups to customers who purchase a holiday drink, known as “Red Cup Day.” Employees report that this is frequently one of the busiest days of the year. Starbucks would not comment on the quantity of red cups it plans to hand out.
Employees have voiced a desire for increased compensation, more stable work schedules, and more help in high-volume retail locations. According to Starbucks Workers United, who are leading the strike, stores in 25 different states intended to take part. The strikers are distributing red cups with union logos.
Starbucks, which is opposed to the unionisation effort, acknowledged the walkouts and said it recognises the legal rights of its employees to express themselves. The Seattle firm said the protests are limited to a handful of the 9,000 locations across the US that are operated by the company.
In a statement released on Thursday, Starbucks said, “We remain committed to all partners and will continue to work together, side-by-side to make Starbucks a company that works for everyone.”
A number of employees have announced that they will be on strike for the entire day, while others will participate in smaller, more limited demonstrations. The union has stated that the goal of the strikes is to force stores to close, citing the company’s staffing issues on Red Cup Day as the reason.
For Silvia Baldwin, 26, and Tzvi Ortiz, 31, working at the Philadelphia Starbucks on 34th Street and Chestnut Street is a dream job. Nonetheless, the workload has increased as the store struggles to meet the needs of both in-store customers and those who request delivery despite having a smaller staff.
Simply put, it can’t work. Ortiz remarked, “It’s just not viable. It’s very stressful, “And a lot of people don’t really notice, like, the humans behind this assembly.
Baldwin, who is on the bargaining committee for the store, shares the union’s disappointment that negotiations with Starbucks have stalled. Her motivation was boosted by striking on Starbucks’ busiest day, and the event will “be impossible to ignore,” she said.
Workers are upset, according to some union organisers, including Michelle Eisen, who worked at one of the first stores to organise in Buffalo, New York. According to Starbucks, it is illegal for the company to offer union stores pay increases without first negotiating with the union.
Employees at a Starbucks location less than three miles from Starbucks’ headquarters in Seattle claimed that managers were making drinks while baristas picketed outside.