CEO Morning Brief

Starbucks Union to Greet New CEO Narasimhan With 100-cafe Strike

Publish date: Thu, 23 Mar 2023, 08:53 AM
0 12,410
TheEdge CEO Morning Brief

(March 22): Unionised Starbucks Corp baristas plan to welcome their new chief executive officer with strikes at about 100 cafes Wednesday (March 22), demanding that the company drop its alleged antiunion coercion.

The work stoppage, which organisers said will involve stores in more than 40 US cities, is the union Starbucks Workers United’s latest effort to force a pivot by the coffee giant. Since scoring an initial landmark victory 15 months ago in Buffalo, New York, the union has prevailed in elections at around 290 of the company’s roughly 9,000 corporate-owned US cafes. But the pace of new unionisation petitions has slowed down, as workers allege the company has been retaliating in stores and stonewalling them at the bargaining table.

Starbucks said earlier this week that it offers industry-leading benefits and that it respects employees’ right to organise and protest, but believes having a direct relationship with staff is core to its culture.

The company has said repeatedly that all claims of antiunion activity there are “categorically false.” Starbucks has accused the union of failing to fairly negotiate, and has said US labour board officials are trying to use cases against it to establish new precedents that would change existing labour law.

The work stoppage comes one day before Starbucks’s annual shareholder meeting, the first for new CEO Laxman Narasimhan, who officially took the reins from Howard Schultz this week. Investors including New York City pension funds have put forward a resolution this year urging the company to conduct a labour-rights audit, and Schultz is slated to be grilled by lawmakers at a US Senate committee hearing next week.

US National Labor Relations Board regional directors have issued 80 complaints accusing the company of breaking the law to defeat organising efforts, including by excluding unionised stores from new benefits, shutting down cafes and terminating dozens of activists.

Striking baristas from Oregon and Washington state plan to converge for a midday protest outside Starbucks headquarters in Seattle.

“Thousands of workers who unionised their stores across the country deserve a real seat at the table and we’re going to keep fighting until we get that seat,” Philadelphia barista Lydia Fernandez, who is striking Wednesday, said in a statement from the union. “We will continue with that demand regardless of who the CEO is.”

Source: TheEdge - 23 Mar 2023

Be the first to like this. Showing 0 of 0 comments

Post a Comment