Thursday, September 28, 2023
Thursday, September 28, 2023
Thursday, September 28, 2023

Starbucks Union Strikes During Pride Month, Closing 21 US Stores




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The union representing Starbucks workers conducted a strike timed during Pride month, resulting in the closure of 21 stores over the weekend, including the prominent Reserve Roastery in Seattle, Your Content has learned.

Starbucks Workers United, the union organizing the strike, announced on Monday that the strike will continue throughout the week, potentially impacting operations at over 150 stores.

The Reserve Roastery in Seattle remained closed on Friday and had reduced hours on Sunday, operating for only five hours instead of the usual 15, as stated by the union.

The strike is a response to alleged reports that certain Starbucks stores banned displays related to LGBTQ+ Pride this year.

Such actions were taken following the backlash faced by other companies, like Target, where customers expressed their disapproval by overturning Pride displays and confronting employees.

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In addition, the union claims that Starbucks management has warned workers that unionizing may jeopardize their health benefits, including gender-affirming care for transgender employees.

Starbucks, however, asserts that there have been no changes to their corporate policies regarding Pride displays or employee benefits.

The company has a history of supporting the LGBTQ+ community, offering comprehensive healthcare coverage to same-sex partners since 1988 and including coverage for gender reassignment surgery since 2013.

In a letter posted on Friday, CEO Laxman Narasimhan emphasized Starbucks’ commitment to supporting the LGBTQIA2+ community and denounced any attempt to exploit cultural and heritage celebrations for personal gain or misinformation.

According to the National Labor Relations Board, approximately 319 out of Starbucks’ 9,265 company-operated U.S. stores have voted in favor of unionization since late 2021, while 76 stores have voted against it.

The workers behind the unionization efforts are advocating for various improvements, including guaranteed minimum hours, gender-neutral store bathrooms, and enhanced safety measures.

Starbucks has taken a firm stance against unionization, resulting in a contentious atmosphere. Recently, the company agreed to settle a complaint filed with the NLRB, acknowledging that it improperly prevented unionized employees from working shifts at University of Washington football games.

As part of the settlement, Starbucks will provide back pay to 10 workers and has committed to informing current employees in the Seattle area that their right to organize will not be hindered, according to U.S. News.

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