Monday, January 30, 2023
HomeWorldWorkers of about 100 Starbucks stores in US begin 3-day strike

Workers of about 100 Starbucks stores in US begin 3-day strike

Workers from at least 100 Starbucks stores across the US have started a three-day strike, making it the longest nationally coordinated job action in the company’s history.

“Starting today, over 1,000 baristas are walking out on a THREE DAY STRIKE, making this the longest collective action of our campaign yet,” tweeted the Starbucks Workers United (SBWU), which has won union elections at around 270 locations covering approximately 7,000 baristas since December 2021 and organised the Friday’s strike, dubbed the “Double Down Strike”.

Collin Pollitt, a union barista and SBWU organiser in Oklahoma City, was quoted Friday by the In These Times, an American politically progressive monthly magazine, as saying that the reason to take the action is because of unfair labour practices of the the coffee giant including “denial of credit card tipping to union stores, hours cuts and the closing of union stores”, reports Xinhua news agency

SBWU demanded Starbucks begin negotiating a first contract and halt its union-busting campaign, In These Times reported, adding the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) had cited the company with over 900 alleged violations of federal labor law since the union drive began.

In addition to going on strike, the union also asked customers not to purchase Starbucks gift cards during the holiday season.

The Union claimed that the company made a reported $212 million from leftover money on gift cards in this fiscal year but had not been transparent on how it uses those funds.

Friday’s strike was backed by some American politicians.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted “I stand in solidarity with Starbucks workers who are making their voices heard in Massachusetts and across the country.”

“We are standing with them across the country, let’s stop buying anything in Starbucks over three-day period,” Jamaal Bowman, the representative for New York’s 16th congressional district, said in a video posted online.

“Starbucks, show your respect to your workers.”

SBWU previously organised a one-day national strike on November 17 called the “Red Cup Rebellion”, timed to coincide with the company’s lucrative Red Cup Day annual promotion.

But since then, the union said Starbucks had continued to attack the organising effort, including by closing the first store to unionise in Seattle.

Starbucks is an American multinational chain of coffeehouses headquartered in Seattle, Washington.

As of November 2021, the company had 15,444 stores in the US.

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