Starbucks workers went on strike at about 100 stores on Red Cup Day

New York
CNN Business

More than 2,000 workers at 112 Starbucks locations will go on a one-day strike Thursday, according to the union that has been organizing the stores for the past year.

The union said the strike was to protest nationwide retaliation against union supporters. It opposes such characterizations as the company’s refusal to bargain with the union on the first labor contract. There were 264 shops that voted in favor of union representation. But no contracts have been negotiated even at stores that voted nearly a year ago.

said Tyler Keeling, a 26-year-old union supporter who has worked at a Starbucks in Lakewood, California — near Los Angeles — for the past six years. “We’re done with their anti-union retaliation, and they’re walking away from bargaining.”

Keeling and other union supporters say it’s up to each individual store whether or not to participate in a nationwide strike. Many shops have come up Brief strikes Among the problems already mentioned. But this is the first nationwide initiative.

“There is a lot of fear before a shop decides to strike,” he said Michael EisenAn organizer The first Starbucks store to vote in favor of a union Last December. “Starbucks is taking revenge on union leaders across the country. But despite those fears, more than 2,000 workers across the country are striking today and standing up for each other.

When Keeling’s store held a one-day strike in August, Starbucks

Workers from nearby non-union stores picketed, and some customers brought food and drinks to the strikers.

It is unclear how many stores affected by Thursday’s action will be able to open during the strike.

The struggle continues”Red cup” A day at Starbucks Reusable holiday cups Customers can get discounts on certain beverage purchases and additional bonus points on future purchases.

“Culturally Red Cup Day is an important day at Starbucks. People go crazy about it,” Keeling said. He said striking on a busy day was a good way to focus on anti-union activity.

The union is calling its strike the “Red Cup Rebellion” and is offering customers red Starbucks Workers United Union cups instead.

At a store across from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City, Dec. The workers went on strike even though the union vote was not held in their shop until the 8th. The shop was open with the help of managers brought in from other places. In shops, according to the strikers. Employees at the store would not comment on the strike.

Aaron Cirillo, 23, who has worked at the store since August, said he wasn’t upset that the store was able to stay open or that many customers crossed the picket line.

“We’re not trying to intimidate them. We want them to hear our story about the need for a fair deal,” he said. Asked what he would say to customers if he could, he said, “It’s about showing support for this one day of not getting coffee, or going to any other shop in town for coffee. I request them to do so,” he replied.

The strikers’ chants were enough to prompt some customers to turn away, but the store had a good flow of customers.

The company was not immediately available for comment on the strike early Thursday. In the past it has denied retaliating against any employee for supporting the union, and it has blamed the union for a lack of progress at the negotiating table. Starbucks upheld the firing of union supporters by properly enforcing rules that apply to all of its employees, which it refers to as “associates.”

“Interest in a union does not exempt partners from the following policies and procedures that apply to all partners,” Starbucks said in an earlier statement.

But this week, the National Labor Relations Board — which oversees union representation votes — filed in federal court for a national cease-and-desist order to prevent Starbucks from retaliating against union supporters.

The NLRB filing said there were “numbers and patterns of unfair labor practices by Starbucks … particularly layoffs” against union supporters at its stores.

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