Starbucks faces its largest strike yet as thousands of nonunionized baristas will walk off the job on Thursday. The baristas are walking out in solidarity with thousands of Starbucks Workers United baristas to protest unfair labor practices at the coffee giant.
SWU said a one-day work stoppage will occur on Red Cup Day (Thursday), the biggest sales event of the season for the company. They said Red Cup Day is one of the most understaffed and most challenging days for baristas of the year.
“In addition to our nationwide ULP strike on the 16th, we’re also asking customers and allies to lead actions at Starbucks stores in their communities in solidarity with workers rising up for a fairer workplace,” the union said.
In an emailed statement, Oklahoma City employee Neha Cremin told Bloomberg, “Starbucks has made it clear that they won’t listen to workers, so we’re advocating for ourselves by going on strike.”
The union called the labor action “Red Cup Rebellion” and said thousands of nonunionized and unionized workers planned to walk out.
Not only is #RedCupRebellion this week – we have even more workers joining the movement!
Welcome the FIRST Starbucks store to file for a union in Rhode Island – the partners of the One Financial location in Providence, RI! pic.twitter.com/RajPssLu4Z
— Starbucks Workers United (@SBWorkersUnited) November 13, 2023
Bloomberg explains how Starbucks believes the union continues to ‘unfairly negotiate’:
The two sides have disagreed in many store locations about ground rules for the meetings, including whether workers should be allowed to participate via videoconference. On Monday, the coffee chain alleged that it’s been months since the union agreed to meet for contract talks, while the union claimed Starbucks has refused to meet unless workers agreed to illegal infringements on their rights.
Starbucks admitted in a statement they’re “aware that Workers United has publicized a day of action at a small subset of our US stores this week,” adding they hope the union’s “priorities will shift to include the shared success of our partners and working to negotiate union contracts for those they represent.”
Bloomberg noted the union has “prevailed in elections at more than 350 of Starbucks’ roughly 9,000 corporate-run US stores, starting with a landmark win nearly two years ago in Buffalo, New York.”