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Another Philly Starbucks Joins the Union Wave, Starbucks Continues Pushing Back

The Starbucks store on 12th and Walnut Streets joined the national union wave, making it the sixth store in Philadelphia to do so, according to PJB Workers Unit

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On Wednesday, April 13, the Starbucks store on 12th and Walnut Streets joined the national union wave, making it the sixth store in Philadelphia to do so, according to PJB Workers United.

“As it stands, we are met with unsafe work conditions. Our pay rate fails to compete the rising cost of living. We regularly have our hours cut which puts our benefits, and our livelihoods and our families financial security in jeopardy.” wrote employees from store #10407 in a letter to CEO Howard Schultz. 

When the Starbucks Workers United Twitter account shared a photo of the letter, PJB Workers United applauded the progress, saying “welcome 12th & Walnut to the movement. 22 more stores to come.”

On Thursday, April 14, PJB Workers United made a call for solidarity, stating that managers at the 12th & Walnut location are already retaliating against union supporters for filing an election petition the day before. 

“Workers are asking supporters to go to the store TODAY, order your coffee ‘union strong,’ and let management see our numbers,” PJB wrote.

So far, the coffee giant has seen a massive wave of unionization across the country, with workers in more than 100 locations in more than 19 states organizing.

In Pittsburgh, the Bloomfield Starbucks location recently became the first store in Pennsylvania to win a unanimous election with a vote of 20-0.

Last month, City Council unanimously passed a resolution expressing strong support for Philadelphia Starbucks employees who are attempting to unionize.

“Philly is a union town. Here, we know that when you lead with solidarity, you win. The diverse group of Starbucks workers fighting for fair representation have our full support,” said co-sponsor Kendra Brooks.

Despite the rapid growth of the movement, union organizers have been faced with harsh penalties from managers, and some have even been fired.

Schultz, who has been anti-union for decades, recently lashed out at a barista who was leading a unionization drive at one of Starbucks’ California locations, according to The New York Post.

“If you hate Starbucks so much, why don’t you go somewhere else?” Schultz told 25-year-old Madison Hall on Friday, April 8.

Schultz has been on a tour of Starbucks locations across the country in an attempt to dissuade his employees from voting “yes.” 

According to More Perfect Union, Hall was offered a last minute invitation by her manager to attend a gathering at Long Beach Airport, to “meet with senior-level management.” 

Hall challenged Schultz, calling him out for his hypocritical statements, and he dismissed her.

“You are constantly telling us that you are not anti-union, you’re constantly saying that you respect our right to unionize,” Hall said. And Scultz declined to entertain the conversation any further.

“It was very, very bad. He was getting very aggressive with me,And then he went on another rant, and he told everyone else that he’s sorry that this was brought up, that this isn’t what [the event] was about, and he had his hand pointed towards me like I was a problem,” Hall told More Perfect Union

Workers United has filed nearly 70 unfair labor practices against the company, and the National Labor Relations Board has issued complaints against Starbucks for penalizing organizers. 

It’s clear that Starbucks upper management will continue to push back against the growing movement, but the company’s “woke” persona has attracted many Gen-Z employees, who have a secret weapon: social media. 

On Thursday, the Philadelphia chapter of Democratic Socialists of America tweeted in support of the 12th and Walnut location, encouraging customers to visit the store and show support. 

“Management is retaliating, and we won’t let Starbucks intimidate its workers,” Philly DSA wrote. 


 

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