More than 100 Starbucks locations’ employees are going on strike

More than 100 Starbucks locations’ employees are going on strike

Starbucks employees at more than 100 U.S. stores have said that they will go on strike on Thursday, which would be the greatest labor action since a drive to unionize the company’s stores began late last year.

The walkouts are timed to coincide with Starbucks’ annual Red Cup Day, during which the business gives away free reusable cups to consumers who purchase a holiday beverage. According to workers, it is commonly one of the busiest days of the year. Starbucks refused to disclose the quantity of red cups it intends to give.

In crowded retail establishments, workers want better pay, more stable schedules, and more personnel. Starbucks opposes the unionization push, arguing that the corporation operates most effectively when employees work directly with management. The Seattle coffee powerhouse owns more than 9,000 outlets in the United States.

Starbucks Workers United, the group organizing the strike, reported that employees at outlets in 25 states planned to participate. Some workers intended to picket for the duration of the day, while others planned shorter walkouts. The union stated that the purpose of the walkouts is to close the stores.

Willow Montana, a shift manager at a Starbucks location in Brighton, Massachusetts, intended to go on strike since Starbucks had not began bargaining with the store after the store’s successful unionization vote in April.

Montana asked, “Why should we come to work when we are understaffed, underpaid, and overworked if the corporation will not bargain in good faith?”

Others, such Michelle Eisen, a union organizer at one of the first stores to organize in Buffalo, New York, stated that workers are furious that Starbucks promised non-union stores higher pay and benefits. Starbucks asserts that it must adhere to the law and cannot grant union stores compensation increases without bargaining.

Since late last year, at least 257 Starbucks locations have voted to unionize, according to the National Labor Relations Board. In fifty-seven establishments, workers have voted against unionization.

Starbucks and the union have began contract negotiations at 53 outlets, with 13 more slated, according to Starbucks Workers United. So yet, no agreements have been made.

The procedure was disputed. This Monday, an NLRB regional director filed a request for an injunction against Starbucks, alleging that the firm violated labor law by firing a union organizer in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The regional director requested that the court order Starbucks to reinstate the employee and refrain from interfering with the national unionization campaign.

It was the fourth time the NLRB has requested intervention from a federal court. A federal judge ordered in August that Starbucks must restore seven fired union organizers in Memphis, Tennessee. In Phoenix, a federal judge ruled against the NLRB, although a similar case in Buffalo has not yet been determined.

In the meantime, Starbucks has asked the NLRB to temporarily stop all union elections at its U.S. outlets, citing a board employee’s suspicions that regional administrators colluded unlawfully with union organizers. A decision is pending in this case.

 

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