Unionized Starbucks Employees Strike During Popular Red Cup Day

More than 2,000 unionized Starbucks employees went on strike Thursday, affecting approximately 100 locations nationwide on one of the company’s busiest and most lucrative days. The New York Post reports members of the Starbucks Workers United union walked off the job ahead of the much-anticipated Red Cup Day, a Christmas mug giveaway that draws lines of consumers before the stores open. Instead, the employees gave customers cups with their Red Union logo.

The organization claimed that the workers were “underpaid, forced to run understaffed stores, and they don’t have consistent schedules they can rely on.” They also said they were opposing the company’s “union-busting tactics.” Additionally, they assert that Starbucks is not bargaining “in good faith” and that management has left the table during negotiations for a collective bargaining agreement.

According to the union, about 260 stores representing close to 7,000 workers have been organized. Casey Moore, a union spokeswoman, said the aim was to prevent the stores from opening Thursday. 

Starbucks stated, “We are aware that union demonstrations are scheduled at a small number of our U.S. company-owned stores. In those locations where partners choose to participate, we respect their right to engage in lawful protest activity.” The company added, “In those stores where partners have elected union-representation, we have been willing and continue to urge the union to meet us at the bargaining table to move the process forward in good faith.”

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