Starbucks workers and organizers plus other area workers and union leaders rallied at Philadelphia City Hall on July 22. The rally was a planned stopping-off point for the 13-city “The Union Is Calling” bus tour, which includes Minneapolis-St. Paul; Atlanta; Chicago; Knoxville, Tennessee; Louisville, Kentucky; Pittsburgh; Philadelphia; Buffalo, New York; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Eugene and Portland, Oregon; and Seattle.
Over 335 Starbucks stores in 38 states and the District of Columbia have successfully unionized into Starbucks Workers United. But for over a year, Starbucks has racked up hundreds of federal labor violations while refusing to negotiate in good faith with the union.
Organizers demanded Philadelphia city officials remove a non-union Starbucks store from city-owned property on the other side of City Hall from the rally. Starbucks workers used rainbow placards and fans to point out that workers’ rights are queer and trans rights.
Speakers, including Starbucks Workers United President Lynne Fox and Danny Bauder, President of Philadelphia Council, AFL-CIO, also described Starbucks’ hypocritical treatment of workers and the company’s illegal union-busting campaign.
The union’s nine “core demands” include the right to organize; a strong foundation of rights (seniority rights, grievance procedures and just cause employment); worker safety; fair wages; health care; no schedule reductions; consistent schedules; expanded leave of absence and personal time- off; and immediate access to the withheld benefits corporate officials have only been granting to non-union employees.
Protesting illegal union busting, workers at five Philadelphia locations went on strike July 23.
–Report and photo by Joe Piette