About 100 Starbucks stores across America will be on strike for the next three days as the union tries to ramp up the pressure in its year-long battle with the coffee retailer.
This is the second widespread strike by Starbucks Workers United, which staged an all-day strike in November, the day Starbucks promoted ‘Red Cup Day’, offering reusable holiday cups. The union said it had won votes at 270 Starbucks stores so far.
The union says it’s a strike to protest unfair labor practices, including the closure of stores that voted to join the union, such as the company’s first hometown store in Seattle. to vote for a union, and what the union is saying is the company’s refusal to negotiate a first collective agreement.
“They’re doubling down on union busting, so we’re doubling down too,” said Michelle Eisen, a barista at the Buffalo store who was the first to vote for the union a year ago. “We demand fair staffing, an end to store closures, and that Starbucks negotiate with us in good faith.”
Starbucks did not immediately respond to a request for comment. In the past, he has defended store closings as being done in the name of employee safety. And he blamed the union for the lack of progress at the bargaining table.
The union has won around 80% of the union votes held so far. Despite its success, the 270 unionized stores represent only a small fraction of the approximately 9,000 American-owned stores that Starbucks operates.
At the time of the previous strike, Starbucks was able to keep many stores open by bringing in managers and staff from nearby stores.