Statement of the IWW Starbucks Workers Union followed by threat letter received yesterday
December 17, 2008
The IWW Starbucks Workers Union (SWU) and our dear friends in the global movement for worker justice have been campaigning against Starbucks for punitively denying two weeks of work to an SWU member who went home ill from a shift one day. In these terrible economic times, barista Anna Hurst absolutely must receive the compensation she is owed to pay rent and put food on the table for her two children.
Instead of paying the money owed, a lawyer for Starbucks store manager Gwendolyn Krueger has now threatened a frivolous lawsuit and even a criminal complaint against the Industrial Workers of the World. To call the truthful expression of our collective voice harassment and libel is both offensive and wrong as a matter of law.
Let us be clear: the IWW Starbucks Workers Union takes our right to defend baristas' interests and our right to free speech very seriously. We do not back down in any respect in response to baseless threats of litigation --- the struggle for secure work hours and respect on the job at Starbucks is too important.
The movement toward justice for Anna and all working people continues full-steam ahead at www.StarbucksUnion.org and www.iww.org.
---Starbucks Managers' Lawsuit-Criminal Complaint Threat Letter---
Hilary Cathcart, Esq.
1020 Grand Concourse
Bronx, New York, 10451
Industrial Workers of the World
4001 Hamilton Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45223, USA
Dear Industrial Workers of the World,
This CEASE AND DESIST ORDER is to inform you that your intimidating actions against Gwendolyn Krueger have become intolerable. Posting of Ms. Krueger’s personal phone number on your website and encouraging your members to phone and text her constitutes harassment. Referring to her as a liar on your website is libelous and actionable.
This letter is to demand that your harassment and intimidation CEASE AND DESIST immediately. Should you continue to pursue these activities in violation of this CEASE AND DESIST ORDER, I will not hesitate to pursue further legal action against you including, but not limited to, civil action and/or criminal complaints. This CEASE AND DESIST ORDER also demands that you immediately discontinue and do not at any point in the future under any circumstances do any of the following to Gwendolyn Krueger: speak to, contact, pursue, harass, telephone (via cellular or landline), instant message, page, fax, email, follow, stalk, shadow, disturb her peace, keep her under surveillance, gather information about her and/or block her movements at home, work, social gatherings, religious functions and/or any other reasonable day-to-day activities.
Should you willfully choose to continue your current course of action, I will not hesitate to file a complaint with the Supreme Court of the State of New York for your ongoing violations of the laws in effect in New York.
Note that a copy of this letter and a record of its delivery will be stored. Note too that it is admissible as evidence in a court of law and will be used as such if need be in the future.
This letter does not constitute an exhaustive statement of my position nor is it a waiver of any of my clients or my rights and/or remedies in this and/or any other related matter.
I demand your immediate attention and compliance in this matter.
Very truly yours,
Hilary Cathcart, Esq.
cc: Gwendolyn Krueger