Nationwide Starbucks strike protests rampant unfair labor practices

By DON McINTOSH 

Workers at Starbucks stores around the United States held a one-day strike Nov. 16 to protest a staggering number of unfair labor practices committed by the company. The strike included one store in Beaverton, one in Portland, and one in Vancouver.

The union, Starbucks Workers United, called the strike the “Red Cup Rebellion” because it was timed to coincide with the company’s “Red Cup Day” promotion, in which customers get a free 2023 reusable red holiday cup with their order of a handcrafted beverage.

In the last two years, workers at 369 Starbucks stores have voted to unionize, totaling 9,000 employees. But not a single one has a union contract yet. And the company is setting new records for the federal labor law violations known as unfair labor practice charges. As of Nov. 15, 680 unfair labor practice charges had been filed against Starbucks, and the National Labor Relations Board had issued 111 complaints covering 380 charges, including allegations that Starbucks refused to bargain with 259 certified bargaining units in 36 states (and D.C.). All told, 18 federal administrative law judges, two federal district judges, and three federal appellate judges have issued a total of 43 decisions against Starbucks for its labor law violations, including orders of reinstatement for 34 Starbucks employees unlawfully fired for union activity.

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