Workers at numerous Starbucks locations across the United States participated in a strike on Thursday, aiming to improve their working conditions and scheduling.
The strike, organized by Starbucks Workers United, coincided with the company's Red Cup Day—a significant event where customers get a reusable red cup with holiday drink purchases.
Workers United communicated to FOX Business that they anticipate over 5,000 employees from about 200 stores to join the strike, named "Red Cup Rebellion." According to the group, this is the largest strike in Starbucks' history.
For the second year in a row, thousands of workers at hundreds of Starbucks stores throughout the US are on strike during the company’s “Red Cup Day”, one of Starbucks’ biggest promotions. The protests have been dubbed the “Red Cup Rebellion." pic.twitter.com/R3JydfEubR
— Steve Hanke (@steve_hanke) November 17, 2023
Starbucks, reaffirming its commitment to negotiate union contracts with Workers United, stated that the strike has minimally affected its business.
A spokesperson for the Seattle-based coffee chain informed FOX Business that over 10,000 of its stores are operational, with only a "few dozen stores with some partners on strike." They further noted that more than half of these affected stores continue to operate.
This event is the latest in a two-year effort by the group to unionize Starbucks' locations, a move the company resists.
The union's demands include enhanced workplace protections, higher wages, guaranteed hours, stable scheduling, and improved health care benefits.
"This year, on the heels of victories won by striking workers across different industries nationwide, Starbucks workers are taking the rebellion to the next level," the group wrote online.
In 2021, employees at a Starbucks location in Buffalo, New York, marked a first in the company's history by forming a union. Since then, approximately 9,000 workers from 360 company-operated Starbucks stores have voted for unionization. However, none have successfully negotiated a labor agreement with Starbucks.
— Dave Carlin (@DaveCarlinTV) November 17, 2023
The union communicated to FOX Business that Starbucks has not addressed any worker proposals for over a year.
Starbucks counters this by stating that "despite escalating rhetoric and recurring rallies demanding contracts, Workers United hasn't agreed to meet to progress contract bargaining in more than five months," according to a spokesperson.
The company urges "Workers United to fulfill their obligations and engage in the work of negotiating first contracts on behalf of the partners they represent," added the spokesperson.
This spokesperson also mentioned that Starbucks has successfully negotiated union contracts for two stores in its North American operations this year, and has "made significant progress on the draft contract with the Teamsters for a store in Pennsylvania."
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