Today, Friday June 24 at 5:30AM, Starbucks workers are launching a strike and will begin picketing in front of the company's Bloomfield location. Workers are protesting Starbucks’ Unfair Labor Practices including its retaliatory union busting campaign, which has hit Pittsburgh workers hard. With widespread support from the community, Starbucks partners will be joined by local elected officials, local union organizations, and allied activist groups this weekend in front of Starbucks Store #7749, 4765 Liberty Ave Pittsburgh, PA 15224.
The Bloomfield Starbucks Organizing Committee, released a statement, saying:
“These hour cuts are clear retaliation against the tide of unionization efforts at Starbucks Stores nationwide. Starbucks hopes to drive pro-union partners out of the stores to maintain their leverage and profits, while denying partners the voice that a union provides. Our struggle reflects not just our store, but all Starbucks workers [...] Starbucks shows no sign of stopping their unfair labor practices and we have no choice but to go on strike in the face of these conditions.”
Partners across the Steel City are facing an unprecedented amount of retaliatory action from management. The Bloomfield store, the first Steel City store to go public with the intent to unionize and the first to win their union election, has seen scheduled hours cut by nearly 30%. Across the city, Workers United has filed over 200 charges on behalf of organizing members against Starbucks with the National Labor Relations Board.
Despite Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’ inflammatory remarks to never embrace Workers United as part of the company, partners are hopeful that the company will recognize the invaluable role that they play in the company’s success and sit down at the bargaining table to negotiate a contract in good faith.
In the four months since the Bloomfield partners filed for, and now won, a union election, they have been joined by 7 additional stores across the Pittsburgh area (Amos Hall, East Carson St, Craig St, Market Square, McKnight Road - Northbound, 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.
The Bloomfield Starbucks Organizing Committee's full statement reads:
We, the unionized partners of Starbucks Bloomfield at 4765 Liberty Ave, declare that we will be going on strike from Friday 6/24/2022 through Sunday 6/26/2022 to protest Starbucks’ unfair labor practices regarding scheduling hours, which were drastically reduced in the face of our union effort. It is illegal for Starbucks to manipulate our pay or benefits without a contract or our explicit consent. After filing for our union election on Feb. 11th Starbucks has reduced our hours by ~30% across the board. These nationwide hour cuts are clearly retaliation against the tide of unionization efforts at Starbucks Stores nationwide. They hope to drive pro-union partners out of the stores to maintain their leverage and profits, while denying partners the voice that a union provides.
Our struggle reflects not just our store, but all Starbucks workers. We are going to take a stand in Bloomfield. Pittsburgh is a historic center of labor militancy and we cannot sit idly by while our rights are violated. Our city is behind us and so is history. Workers at the store have testified and pleaded with management about the hardships that the reduced hours (and pay) have created for us, but to no avail. Hours have only gone down as each schedule comes out; our last schedule had 20 hours less overall than the last, which was already intolerable. Starbucks shows no sign of stopping their unfair labor practices and we have no choice but to go on strike in the face of these conditions.
The strike will last from Friday 6/24/2022 until Monday morning when we plan to reopen the store to the public. Until Monday, we will be picketing in front of the store during peak hours and informing our customers of the damage that Starbucks’ unfair labor practice have caused us. We hope that the actions of this weekend will lead Starbucks to change its course when the schedule is made on Monday.
And others who preferred to stay anonymous.