Today, Thursday July 15 at 5:30AM, Starbucks workers are launching a strike and will begin picketing in front of three stores across the Steel City. Workers are protesting the abrupt and illegal firing of two partners.
On Wednesday, July 13th Starbucks pulled two union employees, Tori Tambellini and Kim Manfre, into closed door meetings, where they were each abruptly fired by a visiting manager. The partners were both members of their store's Organizing Committee and had never worked with the disciplinary manager before. Starbucks management explicitly denied Tori her Weingarten Rights — the federally-protected right of union workers to have union representation present in any disciplinary meeting.
Tori Tambellini and Kim Manfre, members of the the Pittsburgh Starbucks Organizing Committee, released the following statement:
“Starbucks’ decision to terminate two leading members of our union organizing committee in the heart of Pittsburgh, an historic center of our country’s labor movement, is a disgusting failed attempt to scare pro-union partners out of stores. Starbucks is trying to intimidate partners across the Country by applying undue pressure to our paychecks and we cannot—and will not—sit idly by while our rights are violated. Our city is behind us and so is history.”
This is only the most recent in a barrage of retaliatory union busting from Starbucks. Across the country, Workers United has filed over 200 unfair labor practice charges on behalf of organizing members against Starbucks with the National Labor Relations Board.
With widespread support from the community, Starbucks partners will be joined by local elected officials, local union organizations, and allied activist groups during the following times:
WHERE: Starbucks East Carson Street - 1400 East Carson St. Pittsburgh, PA 15203
WHEN: 11am to 1pm
WHERE: Starbucks Eastside - 5932 Penn Circle South Pittsburgh, PA 15206
WHEN: 3pm to 5pm
WHERE: Starbucks Bloomfield - 4765 Liberty Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15224
WHEN: 1pm to 3pm
In the five months since workers at the Bloomfield store became the first Pittsburgh Starbucks partners to file for, and later win, a union election, they have been joined by 6 additional stores across the Pittsburgh area (Amos Hall, East Carson St, Craig St, Market Square, Penn Center East, Eastside). Nationally, more than 300 Starbucks locations have now petitioned for union elections, with many additional stores actively organizing to prepare to file for elections.