Tuesday, July 23, 2024

Starbucks Workers United Organizing ‘Red Cup Day’ StrikeDaily Coffee News by Roast Magazine


A 2023 Starbucks holiday cup. 2023 press photo by Starbucks.

Labor organizing group Starbucks Workers United is coordinating a strike on Red Cup Day, an annual marketing event by Starbucks promoting holiday-themed cups and messaging. 

The union organizing group is referring to its own competing effort, scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 16, as the Red Cup Rebellion. Starbucks has not officially announced a date for its 2023 Red Cup Day, although the promotional campaign has historically taken place on the third Thursday of November. 

While accusing Starbucks of failing to fairly negotiate in good faith at unionized cafes, the union organization is calling on all of Starbucks’ unionized employees to participate in pro-union activities.

The group is also asking “asking customers and allies” to participate in strike-related efforts in solidarity, according to a promotional announcement

Starbucks, which continues to refer to all its workers as “partners,” has publicly maintained that it is the union organizers who are refusing to negotiate in good faith.

Starbucks unsplash

In a statement obtained by Bloomberg, a Starbucks spokesperson said that the company is aware that Workers United has publicized a “day of action at a small subset of our U.S. stores this week,” and that 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.”

There are currently just over 350 unionized Starbucks stores among a total of more than 9,000 company-operated Starbucks locations in the United States. As of this writing, the union effort has not led to a single ratified contract among unionized Starbucks employees. 

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Just last week, Starbucks announced it was raising pay and increasing benefits among employees at all Starbucks locations. A Starbucks representative told DCN at the time that some of the new employee incentives are being extended to unionized workers, but others are not because they are considered by the company to require collective bargaining under the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). 

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