Starbucks workers strike as part of ‘Red Cup Rebellion’
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Starbucks workers in Kentucky and Indiana were striking Thursday as part of the nationwide “Red Cup Rebellion” movement, demanding the company stop refusing to bargain with baristas over staffing, scheduling and other issues.
The workers chose to strike on the coffee chain’s “Red Cup Day”, one of its busiest days of the year when it hands out tens of thousands of free reusable cups.
Workers at the Baxter Avenue, Factory Lane and S. Third Street locations in Louisville, the Veterans Parkway location in Clarksville and the Loop location in Elizabethtown joined the strike.
Starbucks’ union, Starbucks Workers United, formed in December 2021, but none of the 9,000 union members have a contract. This is the second year in a row that the union has staged walkouts on Red Cup Day.
“Red Cup season is always a hassle for baristas and shift managers,” Starbucks shift manager at the Baxter Ave. location Tamara Bell said. “Every year gets a little crazier. We don’t have staffing and we don’t have the hours for it. So most stores only get three people on Red Cup Day. Other stores only get two people. Our store usually gets five people, which is a little bit more than usual, but it’s still low staff. They’re not getting the hours and their not getting the pay they need.”
Striking workers want Starbucks to turn off mobile ordering during future promotions. They say the app tells customers drinks will be ready in a few minutes and when they’re backed up and it’s taking much longer, it leaves everyone frustrated.
Earlier this fall, workers filed an unfair labor practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board over Starbucks’ refusal to bargain around promotion days.
This is just a one-day strike and locations are expected to reopen Friday.
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