Starbucks workers in Buffalo, N.Y. are trying to form Starbucks’ first union.
In response, Starbucks has launched an unprecedented anti-union campaign.
Corporate executives have descended on Buffalo to intimidate workers with mandatory meetings, unexpected store closings, and lies… a lot of lies and misinformation designed to scare workers from standing up.
For example, those mandatory employee meetings include slide shows filled with anti-union rhetoric.
One slide literally says, “the union will control you.” Other slides make legal protections that would be provided by the union sound threatening, implying in the words of one worker that “if you join this union, there’s a chance you could go to jail.”
Executives have visited the store more than 100 times in just the last two months.
In fact, since the start of the workers’ unionizing campaign, Starbucks has also unexpectedly closed the store during normal working hours three times, once for a full week.
Starbucks barista Will Westlake told The Guardian he was told by a manager he could attend an earlier mandatory anti-union meeting on Nov. 8 because he was scheduled to work early the next day.
The meeting was in a nearby hotel and when Westlake arrived he found out he was the only worker in attendance, with six members of Starbucks management. The meeting lasted for about one hour.
“That was basically how my last anti-union meeting was, totally separated from the rest of my co-workers and having to be surrounded,” said Westlake. “They started off by going around and saying that they wanted me to vote no for the union. And then they went back and forth talking about how great all the benefits are at Starbucks and if we vote in a union, we may not have any of those benefits.”
You can help. Send a message to Starbucks’ CEO that you’ll stop buying from them if they continue their anti-workers actions, let the workers make up their own minds without the massive intimidation going on in Buffalo. Sign a petition at https://actionnetwork.org/letters/tell-starbucks-let-workers-unionize-or-lose-our-business.