‘no contract, no coffee’ starbucks workers stage ‘red cup day’ strike
Thousands of Starbucks workers at more than 200 Starbucks stores across the United States (U.S.) staged a ‘Red Cup Day’ strike on Thursday, demanding improved staffing and work schedules.
The Workers United, an American and Canadian labor union, said on social media platform X, previously Twitter, that thousands of workers walked off their jobs from Starbucks stores during a key promotional event on Thursday.
The workers’ strike coincided with Starbucks’ Red Cup Day event, wherein the coffeehouse company hands out free red-colored, reusable, holiday-themed cups to customers on their coffee purchases.
‘No Contract, No Coffee’: Starbucks Workers Strike
Many Starbucks workers gathered outside Starbucks’ Astor Place outlet at the New York University’s campus, chanting “no contract, no coffee.” Many Starbucks employees demand higher pay and more staff at Starbucks.
Some workers said that the inability for customers to tip at various Starbucks stores has deterred some potential hires from joining the company.
During Starbucks’ Red Cup Day event, Starbucks employees end up receiving end of abuse from frustrated customers over long wait times. Workers United, which represents more than 9,000 Starbucks employees at about 360 U.S. stores, has said the event is one of the “most infamously hard, understaffed days.”
In June, 150 Starbucks employees walked off the job over pride decorations. A dispute over the coffee chain’s policy regarding Pride decorations in stores led to a strike by employees at about 150 unionized Starbucks locations in the country.
Starbucks’ employees demand
Employees urged Starbucks to bargain labor contracts, which would set workplace conditions at workplaces, such as salaries, benefits and staffing levels.
An employee told the media, “It’s degrading and embarrassing to work in stores that are so short staffed on promotional days that we give customers poor service.”
Earlier this month, Starbucks said it would increase hourly pay for its U.S. workers by at least 3 per cent from next year. However, employees criticized the move, calling it “tone deaf” given Starbucks’ 11 per cent increase in fourth-quarter revenue and the recent wage hikes won by auto workers in the United States.
Last month, Starbucks sought Supreme Court in the Union battle. The company wanted to overturn a previous lower court decision that had mandated the reinstatement of terminated employees. The National Labor Relations Board judge recently ruled that Starbucks violated federal labor laws by making promises of wage and benefits increases for employees who did not work at unionized stores.