IWW Starbucks Union News

Baristas of the Bay: Bay Area GMB on Global Day of Action for Starbucks

Wed, 05/23/2007 - 10:01pm -- SWU

By Dean Dempsey and the Bay Area SBUX Organizing Committee

For the Global Day of Action for Starbucks workers, the Starbucks
Organizing Committee of the Bay Area General Membership Branch gathered
outside a Starbucks location in Oakland, CA, to pass out fliers and to
talk to the public.

Before the distribution of union literature outside the store, two
wobblies went inside the Starbucks to talk to the workers about what we
were doing and what the Starbucks Workers Union (SWU) is all about.

Out of the four workers we talked to, three of them were in support of
the idea of unionizing. Their main grievances were their low wages,
treatment from both customers and management, and most of all, their inability to
have sufficient and secured hours. Two contacts were made.

About a dozen wobblies participated in the Global Day of Action in
Oakland, CA. We first met outside the Starbucks and then split into
groups to cover a larger area, talking to workers at other coffee

IWW Starbucks Union Organizer Pete Montalbano on RadioNation with Laura Flanders

Wed, 05/23/2007 - 9:33pm -- SWU

The broadcast will discuss Liza Featherstone's recent Notion post (http://www.thenation.com/blogs/notion?pid=196455) detailing new legal and political troubles for Starbucks over its treatment of its workers and its anti-union efforts. In New York, the National Labor Relations Board has accused Starbucks of violating workers' freedom of association in about thirty different ways, including illegally firing, threatening and disciplining workers for supporting the union. Managers forbade workers from talking about the union -- even when off-duty -- or wearing union buttons. The trial against Starbucks is in July. Liza Featherstone, author of Selling Women Short: The Landmark Battle for Worker's Rights at Wal-Mart, will report from the trial for her blog. Liza will be joined in studio by Pete Montalbano, a Starbucks barista and IWW member who is a veteran of the campaign.

Llisten to a live stream at http://www.airamerica.com/ on Sunday, May 27 at 1:00pm EST.  A podcast will be available as well.

Industrial Worker: Starbucks violated IWW workers' rights, says NLRB

Tue, 05/22/2007 - 1:29pm -- SWU

The current of issue of the Industrial Worker, the official newspaper of the IWW, has an article about the government complaint against Starbucks for violating the rights of union baristas.  Starbucks has launched a relentless union-busting campaign to keep the money and power on the side of the executives and not in the hands of those who work hard every day making drinks, interacting with customers, cleaning the bathrooms, and operating the cash registers.  Despite the anti-union campaign, barista-union members are improving their life at work by taking direct action against the company around issues of concern like insecure work hours and disrespectful management.

More about why Starbucks baristas are going union

More on how union baristas make work better by supporting each other 

Lancaster Pennsylvania Responds to Call for Action on M17

Mon, 05/21/2007 - 3:10pm -- SWU

Starbucks protest in Lancaster, PA draws 30

by John Schreck

Lancaster, PA - On May 17th, the Lancaster branch of the Industrial Workers of the World and the Lancaster Students for a Democratic Society protested for over three hours at the Columbia Avenue store in solidarity with the IWW-Starbucks Workers Union. At the peak of the event 25 demonstrators were in attendance and approximately 30 people attended all together.

Three years after the founding of the IWW Starbucks Workers Union, the organization has members in multiple U.S states successfully using Direct Action to rise out of poverty and articulate an independent voice on the job.

To silence worker voices, Starbucks has disgracefully terminated eight SWU baristas in retaliation for their union activity. The SWU has prevailed against Starbucks to reinstate two of the members but six
remain out of a job. Despite multiple Labor Board complaints, the coffee giant continues to punish baristas for discussing the union and relentlessly forces union-busting propaganda down workers throats. Starbucks must understand that working people of conscience will not allow this affront to the dignity
of our class.

The demonstrators split into three groups and fanned out across a large parking lot. While singing pro-union songs and waving an array of anti-corporate coffee signs to passing cars, attendees handed out several hundred flyers to those interested, several of which decided against purchasing Starbucks products upon learning of repeated labor violations.

Lancaster has several fair trade coffee shops in the downtown area, but corporate giants are now all around the city. Millersville University, located just outside the city limits, had success getting fair trade coffee introduced to the student body three years ago. However, the university has yet to switch over to all fair trade. Franklin & Marshall, another local university, also is not a completely fair trade institution. Several groups in the area are working to target schools/universities/public areas' distribution of "unfair" trade in the coming months and years.

For more information, please see the following sites:

Lancaster IWW - www.lancasteriww.org/

Lancaster SDS - www.newsds.org/lancaster/

IWW - Starbucks Workers Union - www.starbucksunion.org/

CNT Targets Paris Starbucks in Solidarity with IWW Baristas

Mon, 05/21/2007 - 2:55pm -- SWU


The French CNT organized actions of solidarity with the IWW Starbucks campaign as part of the global commemoration of the union's third anniversary. CNT activists entered the 4 biggest Starbucks in Paris to distribute flyers to the costumers and the workers until being expelled by nervous management. One nervous manager told the activists he had been alerted that the, "CNTists were coming!"

The CNT members were joined at the action by two members of the Industrial Workers of the World. The CNT has pledged further actions and to stand behind the Wobbly baristas until victory.


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