Starbucks baristas in Worcester have gone on strike in protest of the Seattle-based coffee giant’s unfair labor practices.
The walkout at the outlet in 11 East Central Street was held on Monday, August 1.
The outlet joins several other Starbucks stores across the country to picket over alleged union-busting activity and poor working conditions.
A barista, Bailey Fulton said: “We’re on strike here at East Central Street because of unfair labor practices, union-busting and Starbucks choosing to not give us management that upholds Starbucks’ own stated missioning values.”
She mentioned certain issues like the store being understaffed and the baristas not getting enough time.
“I’m available for 35 hours. I’m working 22. I can’t pay my rent. We’re not being given the labor and being told that we have to do more with less labor.”
Fulton further claimed that managers make “transphobic, homophobic, and racist” statements and are not held accountable.
Roessler, a store employee at the location said there has been an acrimonious relationship with management since workers decided to unionize two months ago.
He said: “Since we unanimously won our (union) vote on June 3, there has been a clear divide that was set in place by management.
“Their tone and their actions are very much us-against-you mentality.”
“Over our chain it has been made very clear that union or not — it has been said multiple times by management — that we will be held accountable. And I’m here personally to demand Starbucks to hold management accountable as they wish to hold us.”
Roessler said the workers began discussing protest plans about a month ago when their new manager started putting them “on edge.”
He said: “There was a clear line that I think was built when she came into our store and that line basically said, ‘You guys voted to be union, it’s now you versus me,’ and that was a narrative she perpetuated.”
The workers informed their boss of their decision to strike at 4.15am on Monday, 15 minutes before the shop was set to open.
By 9 a.m., the workers had posters and placards slung over their necks and had set up shop next door in the Massachusetts Nurses Association union headquarters.
Several Worcester community leaders came out to express their support.
Fulton said the East Central Street Starbucks is one of five in Massachusetts that were on strike that day.
The others were on Commonwealth Avenue and Cleveland Circle in Boston, in Coolidge Corner in Brookline, and in Watertown.
Source: Yahoo! Finance