Starbucks Red Cup Day 2022: Workers across Southern California are on strike on one of the company’s busiest days

LAKEWOOD, Calif. (KABC)– Hundreds of Starbucks workers across the country went on strike Thursday, demanding better pay and more consistent working hours.

Workers from five Southern California stores are participating in the strike, including a Lakewood store that was among the first stores in California to unionize.

Also involved are workers in downtown LA, Long Beach and Anaheim.

The strikes coincide with Starbucks’ annual Red Cup Day, when the company is giving free reusable cups to customers who order a holiday drink. Workers say it’s often one of the busiest days of the year. Starbucks declined to say how many red cups to give out.

“Well, they really didn’t even try to listen to us as much as we wanted, like, ‘Hey, that’s a pack of what we want to talk about,'” said Wyatt Valerie Garcia of Starbucks Workers United, who was joined by others at accompanied a strike rally in Lakewood. “We were given a very minimal apology as to why they didn’t want to deal with us, so we just tried our best to make sure they honor the contract we worked out so they can have it and at least say they do.” have him. “

Workers say they want better pay, more consistent schedules and more staffing at busy stores.

According to Starbucks Workers United, the organizing group, stores in 25 states plan to get involved in the labor action. Strikers hand out their own red trophies with union logos.

Starbucks, which opposes the union effort, said it is aware of the strikes and respects its employees’ right to lawfully protest.

The Seattle-based company noted that the protests are taking place at a small number of its 9,000 company-owned US locations.

“We remain committed to all partners and will continue to work side-by-side to make Starbucks a company that works for everyone,” the company said in a statement Thursday.

Some workers planned to picket all day while others would hold shorter strikes.

The union said the goal is to close stores during the strikes, noting that the company typically struggles to staff during Red Cup Day because they are so busy.

At least 257 Starbucks locations have voted to unionize since late last year, according to the National Labor Relations Board.

Fifty-seven stores have held votes in which workers have chosen not to organize.

Starbucks and the union have started contract talks at 53 stores, with 13 additional meetings planned, Starbucks Workers United said. So far no agreements have been made.

The process was controversial. Earlier this week, a regional director of the NLRB filed a request for a preliminary injunction against Starbucks in federal court, saying the company violated labor laws when it fired a union organizer in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

The regional director asked the court to order Starbucks to reinstate the employee and end its nationwide interference in the union organizing campaign.

It was the fourth time the NLRB had asked a federal court to intervene.

In August, a federal judge ruled that Starbucks had to reinstate seven union organizers who had been fired in Memphis, Tennessee.

A similar case in Buffalo has yet to be decided, while a federal judge ruled against the NLRB in a case in Phoenix.

Meanwhile, Starbucks has asked the NLRB to temporarily suspend all union elections at its US stores, citing claims by a board employee that regional officials failed to coordinate properly with union organizers. A decision in this case is still pending.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright © 2022 KABC Television, LLC. All rights reserved. Starbucks Red Cup Day 2022: Workers across Southern California are on strike on one of the company’s busiest days

Laura Coffey

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