Thursday, December 1

US Starbucks workers stage first nationwide protest

The workers of the Starbucks cafeteria chain have organized this Thursday their first day of protest at the national level in more than one hundred establishments throughout the United States, to denounce the shortage of personnel and the company’s refusal to sit down to negotiate with the workers’ union. workers, who was born less than a year ago.

“We are here today because Starbucks refuses to bargain across the country with our union, because of staff shortages and other unfair circumstances that have been occurring in our store,” Brandi Alduk said outside a coffee shop located in the neighborhood of Queens, where he has worked for almost four years.

Together with Alduk, a dozen workers from the store denounced the company’s policies at the entrance of the premises with protest slogans and posters demanding a contract and respect for their rights. In the windows of the cafeteria there are papers on which you can read: “We are open”, but the little activity inside seems to indicate the opposite.

The Starbucks union, which began to be formed in December last year despite frontal opposition from company management, now represents nearly 7,000 workers at 250 locations across the country, according to figures from the Workers United union. The chain has some 17,000 cafeterias in the United States, of which it directly operates about 9,000, where around 70,000 people work. To join the union, workers from each cafeteria must call a vote and win it with a simple majority.

Through their social networks they have highlighted that this is the “biggest” action coordinated by the movement, which “is just beginning” and they have called it ‘The Red Cup rebellion’. The name is due to the fact that the workers have made their day of protest coincide with what is known as ‘Red Cup Day’ (Red Cup Day), in which Starbucks gives customers containers to drink coffee.

“Red Cup Day, which is today, is a great day for Starbucks, because people usually get free red cups and that’s why we chose to do it today, because it’s an excruciating day to work because of the level of work,” Alduk has pointed out.

In addition, in a statement issued today, the union has denounced that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), an agency dependent on the Federal Government, issued 39 official complaints against Starbucks, about 900 alleged violations of federal labor law.

“Many people think that Starbucks treats us very well, but we are consistently short-staffed and expected to work much more than our fair share of wages,” said Alduk, who offers Starbucks coffee to passers-by who ask questions about it. their claims.

All the local political representatives have passed through this cafeteria, including the congresswoman from the left wing of the Democratic Party Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, to show their support for the labor demands of the waiters.

“We have all liked having her support (from the congresswoman), so she feels much more secure” the fact of facing a company with so much experience and with as much strength as Starbucks, Alduk said.

The demonstration is held in different locations nationwide and the Starbucks union shares on Twitter the protests in different states, including Seattle, Boston, Maryland, New Jersey and Illinois.

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