Baristas at a Boston Starbucks have gone on strike until further notice to raise their objections to what they say are poor working conditions.
They picketed outside the store at 874 Commonwealth Avenue near Boston University on Monday, July 18
Workers say they have been “subjected to not only a slew of unfair labor practices” after their vote last month, “but also a chaotic and hostile work environment.”
A letter to the management states after the unionization vote Starbucks has been slashing long-time employees’ schedules and understaffing shifts while simultaneously engaging new staff.
A barista said: “I’ve worked here for over a year under three different managers.”
“The store has never been so consistently understaffed, yet our new manager claims there aren’t enough hours to give out while simultaneously hiring five new people.”
The workers complained the interim manager has “made illegal threats of discipline or termination of employees” who do not follow a new availability policy.
They claim this conduct violates business principles by “perpetuating harmful and offensive rhetoric with respect to the race, gender, and orientation” of employees and customers.
The letter goes on to request Starbucks to fire the store manager or, at the very least, remove them from the location and provide them with more training and supervision.
Employees also want management to discuss labor requirements with them once a month to guarantee enough staffing.
The Brookline location is one of a dozen in Massachusetts that have formed the union.
Employees at 16 different locations throughout the state have applied to unionize, with only two ballots failing.
The wave of unionizations is part of a countrywide campaign that began in late 2021 in Buffalo, New York.
As Starbucks employees continue to unionize around the country, the firm has been accused of engaging in union-busting activities.
In multiple states, the National Labor Relations Board filed charges claiming different labor law infractions.
Source: Eater Boston