On Friday, Starbucks workers from coast to coast protested against the company’s anti-union campaign, which is becoming increasingly aggressive as the movement rapidly spreads across the country.
Raleigh, North Carolina workers protested against the company Friday morning in protest of the firing Sharon Gilman, a former Starbucks employee and college student pro-union. The company Gilman recently endedAfter a sink fell onto her while she was washing dishes she was accused of deliberately breaking the sink. Demonstrators demanded Gilman be reinstated and said that the allegations were false.
“Sharon Gilman is one of the best partners we have at our store. We are extremely disappointed that the company we saw her working so hard for is willing to fire her over something she is not responsible for and without consulting the witnesses available,” workers at the Wake Forest and Six Forks Road store wrote in a letter to CEO Howard Schultz.
“If our equipment is so flimsy that it can fall off of a wall only two years after installation, we are concerned about the safety of our coworkers and the fact that Starbucks would rather find a scapegoat than accept responsibility,” they continued.
BREAKING: Dozens of labor & community members are back, rallying in solidarity with unionizing Starbucks partners in Raleigh! #UnionYes #OrganizeTheSouth #1u @SBWorkersUnited pic.twitter.com/qEdKWR1jCD
— NC State AFL-CIO // #OrganizeTheSouth (@NCStateAFLCIO) April 15, 2022
Starbucks fired Gilman, one of many union-supporting workers, in the last few weeks. Starbucks has fired over 100 employees since Schultz became CEO on April 4. least four pro-union workersThis was done likely to dissuade employees from supporting the union and throw a wrench into the upcoming union election.
Meanwhile, the workers’ union movement grows stronger by the day. Over 200 storesHave filed to unionize 21 storesSo far, they have successfully merged with a handful of unanimous winsOver the past weeks, there have been protests in several states. A store in Springfield, Virginia voted against the union. Starbucks union organizer Richard Bensinger wrote on Thursday that the loss was the result of “outrageous union busting” at the store by “billionaire bully” Schultz.
Workers at two stores in Seattle walked off the job to protest Starbucks’s union busting on Friday. Workers are at 5th and Pike Avenues and Eastlake Avenue. striking until SundayTo protest the company’s unfair labor practices. Starbucks Workers United, a union, claims that the company has been creating new policies to retaliate for workers who are pro-union. Slashing hoursDespite high profits.
🚨Starbucks workers in Seattle have taken strike action and walked out! 🚨
These are their demands:
☕Safe and adequate staffing
☕Stop imposing policies in an uneven manner
☕Stop union busting
Support the workers on the picket lines at 5th and Pike downtown Seattle ✊✊✊ pic.twitter.com/sfwACRtd9b
— Stan🌹 (@strsta11) April 15, 2022
“Given Starbucks’s public portrayal of their empathy and dedication for their partners, it is incredibly disheartening to see such malicious attempts to silence us,” said Eastlake barista Natalie Mattera. “We are the heart of this company and we deserve to be treated as such.”
Starbucks Workers United has filed an unjust labor practice charge against the company with a regional office at the National Labor Relations Board. The union alleges that the company is engaging in illegal retaliatory acts.
With Schultz in charge, the company’s union-busting tactics have become increasingly brash. The company has also fired union workers. begun posting flyersAnti-union information is displayed in stores. The flyers include fake tweets made to look like they were sent from the union’s official Twitter account.
These fake tweets show the union making general statements regarding unionizing, which the company then responds. “In collective bargaining, you start with everything you have and negotiate for more from there,” one fake tweet reads. Underneath the tweet, Starbucks corporate “debunks” the claim with anti-union rhetoric, describing how the company could negotiate against workers’ interests during contract discussions.
The NLRB is currently pursuing legal action against the company. They found that the company had violated federal labor laws multiple times during the union campaign. Recently, the NLRB discovered that the company Illegally firedIn Memphis, Tennessee, there were seven union organizers. The organizers were terminated in February and made up almost the entire organization committee at their store.