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Wobblies Coordinate Global Day of Action Against Starbucks

  • Global Day of Action Will Protest Starbucks’ Anti-Union Terminations
    By IWW Starbucks Workers Union
    IndyMedia, 6/30/08
    Straight to the Source

Grand Rapids , MI ( 06-30-2008 )- Union members and social activists are gearing up for what may be the largest, global coordinated action against Starbucks ever. Protesters will decry what they see as an epidemic of anti-union terminations by the world's largest coffee chain. Starbucks and its CEO Howard Schultz have exhibited a pattern of firing outspoken union baristas ever since the advent of the IWW Starbucks Workers Union in 2004 and are demonstrating the same practice against the CNT union in Spain.

"On July 5th people around the world will show Starbucks that we, baristas along with our supporters, will have a voice and Starbucks discrimination and repression of our efforts will not go un-checked", said Cole Dorsey.

The IWW and CNT have called for the day of action in response to two recent anti-union terminations. On April 24, Starbucks fired Monica in Sevilla , Spain , for her activity on behalf of the CNT union. She asked to be identified by only her first name to avoid future employment discrimination. On June 6, Starbucks fired 2 year barista Cole Dorsey in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for his activity on behalf of the Industrial Workers of the World union. These firings come in the midst of Unfair Labor Practice charges being investigated by the NLRB against Starbucks in Grand Rapids, including whether Starbucks violated a previous Labor Board settlement there, and deliberations by a judge on the anti-union terminations of three IWW baristas in New York City.

The firing of Monica, in Spain , made clear that Starbucks union-busting policies were not specific to the US, but were decided by the top echelons of the corporation in Seattle . The Confederacion Nacional de Trabajadores ( CNT ) quickly responded in Spain with local pressure to reinstate their member.

Due to Starbucks globalized response to union activists, the Starbucks Union (IWW) and the Sevilla CNT vowed to join struggles for the reinstatement of their members. As a consequence of that declaration, July 5th was called for a Global Day of Action Against Starbucks Repression. In a show of solidarity, Cole and Monica vowed not to return until both were reinstated.

Actions against Starbucks will take place in: Argentina, Chile, the British Isles, Italy, Japan, Norway, Serbia, Poland, Slovakia, 4 cities in Spain, 6 cities in Germany. In the US: Phoenix, Philadelphia, Grand Rapids, Boston, Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles .

The IWW Starbucks Workers Union is a grassroots organization of employees at the world's largest coffee chain united for better pay, stable work schedules, safer working conditions, and easier access to more affordable health care. The union has members throughout the United States fighting for systemic change at the company and remedying individual grievances with management.

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