Starbucks workers and labor activists protested outside the company’s Seattle headquarters on the eve of the annual shareholders meeting.
The groups were protesting against what they described as union-busting efforts by executives.
Employees also walked off the job at more than 100 stores in 40 U.S. cities, according to organizers.
It was not known how many stores closed due to the action.
NEW STARBUCKS CEO LAXMAN NARASIMHAN TAKES OVER FOR HOWARD SCHULTZ
Some stores remained open because workers remained on the job, while others were staffed by employees from nearby stores who took additional shifts to cover for strikers, Starbucks said.
The coffee company will hold its annual meeting on Thursday, and protesters hope to urge new Chief Executive Officer Laxman Narasimhan to take a more welcoming approach to unionization efforts, said organizers with Starbucks Workers United.
Starbucks said in September that Narasimhan would replace Howard Schultz on April 1.
JUDGE SAYS STARBUCKS COMMITTED ‘EGREGIOUS AND WIDESPREAD’ LABOR VIOLATIONS FIGHTING UNIONS
Schultz is preparing to appear before a Senate committee that’s been looking into the coffee giant’s response to the widespread unionization campaign.
At least 280 company-owned U.S. Starbucks stores have voted to unionize since late 2021.
Starbucks and the union have not yet reached a contract agreement at any of those stores.
Among the things workers have asked for are better pay, more consistent schedules and safer stores.
The company opposes unionization, saying it already provides industry-leading benefits.
STARBUCKS CATCHES BREAK AS JUDGE VACATES NATIONWIDE BAN ON FIRING UNION WORKERS
The labor activists say workers have trouble obtaining enough hours to qualify for Starbucks benefits.
Each side has repeatedly complained to the National Labor Relations Board about the other’s tactics.
In a violation of labor laws, a judge ordered Starbucks to reinstate seven fired workers from a Buffalo, New York store last week.
The judges also required Schultz to read or be present at a reading of employee rights and distribute a recording of the reading to all of Starbucks’ U.S. employees.
The Associated Press contributed this report.
Read the full article here
Leave a Reply