Tell Starbucks: Stop union-busting closures

The company has announced the closure of another unionized store in Seattle


SEATTLE (Nov. 29, 2022) — On Monday, Nov. 21, Starbucks announced it would close another store in Seattle. Again, it just happens to be one of the unionized locations, Broadway & Denny, which was the first store in the city to form a union with Starbucks Workers United in a unanimous vote back on March 22.

Rather than negotiate a first contract in good faith with its unionized workers, Starbucks continues to bust the unions by retaliating against union supporters and closing unionized stores. This is illegal, but Starbucks continues to do it — despite complaints from federal authorities and members of Congress — because U.S. labor laws and the penalties for breaking them are so weak that the company has deliberately chosen to commit illegal acts to discourage further organizing.

In fact, in the city where the company was born, they are stepping up the union-busting. With the latest store closure in Seattle, that will make four unionized stores that have been shuttered. The Broadway and Denny store is slated to be closed on Dec. 9, the one-year anniversary of the first Starbucks Workers United union election win in Buffalo, N.Y.

TAKE A STAND — Starbucks Workers United Seattle is urging all to show their support for Starbucks workers by taking one or more of the following actions:

Send a direct message to Starbucks District Manager Taylor Pringle and his boss Regional Director Nica Tovey and tell them what you think of their actions in your own words.

Sign the pledge: “No contract, no coffee!”

Contribute to the hardship fund. A GoFundMe hardship fund has been set up to help Starbucks workers who have been retaliated against or had their store closed.

As Starbucks continues to close stores, company executive are citing “safety concerns” and their desire to protect employees as the reason. Many in the commercial media are buying it and simply parroting the company line.

But with the latest store closure announcement, The Stranger’s Conor Kelley decided to actually get up from his desk and go talk to some of the Starbucks workers. He found that the workers tell a much different story than management:

“They say the closures all followed a similar pattern, one designed to bust up union activity rather than to address safety. Now, workers worry about following the company’s safety directives for fear of having their own stores closed.”

Read Kelley’s entire report here.

Starbucks employees walked out on strike at stores across the nation on Red Cup Day, Nov. 17, to protest the company’s union-busting activities.

In the face of Starbucks’ illegal retaliation, its employees have continued to join together in unions. The current wave of union organizing at Starbucks began in December 2021 with a store in Buffalo, N.Y. There are now 264 Starbucks stores in 36 states have won union elections, including 17 in Washington state. Just 59 stores have lost an election. Dozens more Starbucks stores have filed for a union and are awaiting NLRB-supervised elections, including three more in Washington.

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