SEATTLE — On Friday, the first unionized Starbucks workers in Seattle from the Broadway and Denny store on Capitol Hill are striking to protest the treatment of their co-workers at three locations.
“With less than a week’s notice, the workers at First and University, First and Pike, and the first store at Pike Place Market, were expected to make time to interview for their own jobs, a task that is both insulting and impractical. More than 20 workers so far have been informed that they did not qualify for the jobs they have been doing, in some cases, for years,” a news release from Seattle Starbucks Workers United said.
The release said only one worker from the First and Pike store, which has filed a petition to unionize, was offered their original job, leaving the other employees with the choice of transferring to another store or quitting.
Workers will picket outside of their store at 101 Broadway East, starting at 7 a.m.
Picketing will continue through Sunday.
“While the heritage district may be a project Starbucks has been working on for a while, the timing of it relative to the First and Pike strike is undeniable retaliation, and blatantly illegal. Moreover, almost no one at First and Pike was allowed to remain, despite there being reportedly over 40 positions that needed filling. This speaks to deliberate union busting,” a worker who chose to be anonymous said.
Last month, the National Labor Relations Board of Buffalo issued a complaint against Starbucks, detailing hundreds of federal labor law violations that happened in western New York.
According to a media release, the charges included behavior such as retaliatory terminations, the shuttering of pro-union stores, unlawful threats, oppressive surveillance, and intimidation tactics.
More Starbucks locations across the country are deciding to unionize.
According to Starbucks Workers United, more than 150 stores have unionized.
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