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Industrial Workers of the World - Starbucks

This page displays *all* news items from Starbucks campaign. For an overview of the IU 660's history and contact information, please visit our homepage.


IWW Starbucks Workers Union Releases Critical Report on Starbucks

Tue, 12 Aug 2014 22:55:00 +0000

(image) By the IWW Starbucks Workers Union

Company Enriches Shareholders While Maintaining Inadequate Working Conditions

NEW YORK, NY - The Industrial Workers of the World, Starbucks Workers Union released a report today, “Low Wages and Grande Profits at Starbucks” with an analysis of company performance over the last decade. The report describes how Starbucks has dramatically improved profitability at the company since the Great Recession of 2008-2009, and that the company has enriched shareholders at the expense of its nearly 200,000 workers.

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Come Together for Striking Starbucks Workers

Thu, 07 Nov 2013 21:59:53 +0000


Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz likes to play the good guy. He asked us to "come together" to pressure Washington to make a budget deal, raise the debt ceiling, and end the government shutdown. But when it comes to his own workers, its a different story. Across the world, Starbucks pays its 100% part-time barista workforce poverty wages, and busts unions when workers "come together" for change, even while raking in over $1.7 billion in profits this year. Right now, Starbucks baristas are on strike in Chile, where they make less per hour than the price of a cup of coffee.

Click HERE to sign the petition for striking baristas of Sindicato Starbucks Coffee Chile, factory workers making Starbucks cups at Pactiv & baristas all over the world


Sun, 20 Jan 2013 21:05:41 +0000

On December 17, Starbucks Coffee abruptly informed "shift supervisors," also known as shifts, in MA that they would no longer receive any income from customers' tips as of January 7. Shift supervisors have extra responsibilities, but start at just $11/hr. The loss of tips represents a cut of up to 10-20% of their income! Shifts comprise roughly one third of Starbucks' MA workforce. The company has said it will not provide any immediate raise to make up for the effective salary cut, and that any future increase shifts may receive won't be retroactive. For years, Starbucks has essentially arranged for customers to subsidize shifts' low pay with tips, but the MA courts have ruled this illegal.

Shifts are demanding that their huge, profitable employer ensures no Starbucks worker loses income from the court ruling on tips. They want a $4/hour raise, and transparency from the company, which has been maddeningly opaque in its dealings with employees, refusing to say anything about any possible raise until a petition link shifts called attention to their plight.

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Coping with Clopening: Retail Worker’s Most Dreaded Shift

Sat, 28 Apr 2012 17:44:56 +0000

By liberte Locke - April 11, 2012

(image) I drag my broken jittery body home through the maze of late night construction New York City subways. I finally reach my quiet apartment where the only ones up are our three cats screaming for food and persistently walking just where I’m trying to walk. Tonight I manage to not step on them but usually, in this state, I can’t help it. I apologize with head-pettings and catnip. I feed the cats and then remember that I spent my entire lunch break at work chain smoking away that last extremely rude customer I had before clocking for my break instead of eating the ramen noodles that I brought. I open the fridge and realize that every meal possible would take way more work than I have in me so I close the door.

I go to the bathroom and while peeing set my alarm on my phone. This is a ritual. I’ve learned in the past that it is completely possible after a closing shift that I may just fall asleep in the bathroom. And if not the bathroom, maybe while sitting up trying to eat a late meal or laying on the couch watching tv. So setting my alarm as soon as I get home is crucial. Being late to work when I’m targeted by management (because of being a union organizer) is not an option, ever.

I’m awake enough from all the caffeine I consumed at my job, Starbucks, that I don’t fall asleep in the bathroom but I do spend ten minutes fumbling brainlessly through the clean laundry I didn’t have time to put up. I’m looking for something loose to sleep in – it takes so long because twice I forget entirely why I’m digging through the bag and I start putting laundry up thinking that is what I what I meant to be doing. I then suddenly stop, thinking to myself, “it’s too late for this, I’m exhausted. Go to bed. Go to bed.” I finally change and go into the living room to watch tv.

I already know that going straight to bed, no matter how tired I am, won’t work. I have to turn off my brain first. Without some distraction my brain will just fill will endless To-Do lists. My responsibilities pile up. All the things I need to get done combine with what I’d like to get done. I’m filled with regret for what I was unable to get done with my day because of having work and then being too exhausted to do anything else. I’m so tired that petty concerns really consume me. I think and re-think about Facebook status updates to reflect my exhaustion and busyness just praying that all the crucial folks will see it and realize why I haven’t returned their phone calls, emails, or finished my deadlines for different projects. These lists go on and on but I’m too tired to even hold a pen to write the lists down.

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Being the bigger person

Thu, 05 Jan 2012 23:47:28 +0000

By FW Liberte Locke - originally posted at - December 29, 2011.

(image) Union organizer with the IWW Starbucks Workers Union dispels the sentiment that 'being the better person' must entail living as a doormat.

I’m so sick of being told to be the bigger person. I get all the scrutiny. I should forgive the unforgivable. I should move on with my life, let it go, drop it, stop being confrontational, stop rocking the boat, stop holding grudges, and be the bigger person. When did “being the bigger person” mean just accepting being treated like shit?

I’m told not to create an “us against them” feeling between worker and employer. I did not create that. Employers created it and long before I was even born. It has always and will always be us, working ourselves to near death, against them, not lifting a finger to help but reaping all the spoils.

I fight this system of oppression because of all the love I have in me. It is because I’m capable of great love that I am able to meet a coworker and know that I will fight for them regardless of who they are, the size of their families, where they are from, how they do their job, what languages they speak, and traditions they keep. Even if they can't fight for me, I will fight for them. It is because I think we’re all truly worth something that I fight. Not everyone thinks like me. In fact, I think most people in American society are taught to never trust anyone. Everyone wants something from you, every boyfriend will cheat, every friend betray you, every parent leave you, every coworker steal credit for your work, every person asking directions will eventually ask for change, too. I don’t see it that way. Every person that I meet I make a concerted effort to trust their words, listen to their stories, and give them the benefit of the doubt. Despite popular belief, I do this with bosses, too, to some extent.

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My body, my rules: a case for rape and domestic violence survivors becoming workplace organizers

Tue, 13 Dec 2011 21:18:16 +0000

Liberté Locke, a Starbucks Workers Union organizer, writes about how violence at work and in our personal lives are similar, how domestic abusers and bosses use the same techniques of control and that we need to fight both.

By Liberté Locke

(image) I was raped by a boyfriend on August 18th, 2006. The very next day I held back tears while I lied to a stranger over the phone about why I was unavailable to go in that day for a second interview for a job that I desperately needed. When I hung up the phone I saw a new text message. It was from him. “It’s not over. It will never be over between us…”

The next day I went in for the second interview. It was inside of the Sears Tower Starbucks in Chicago. I took the train to the interview constantly looking around me and shaking. I needed work. I had just been fired from Target two weeks prior and had no prospects. I knew I would have to go through a metal detector in order to enter the building so despite every instinct in my body I did not bring a knife with me.

“What would you do if you caught a coworker stealing?”

My mind is racing. I’m thinking that I risked my safety by leaving my house for a stupid job that pays $7.75/hr. Aren’t I worth more than that? Aren’t we all worth so much more?

“I’d tell management right away, of course. I’ve never understood why someone would steal from work…”

I tell them what they want me to.

I started working at Starbucks on August 22, 2006. That was a little over five years ago. Every year we have annual reviews where I generally get to argue with someone younger than me who makes significantly more than do about why my hard work, aching back, cracking hands, sore wrists, the bags under my eyes, the burns, the bruises on my arms, the cuts on my knees, the constant degrading treatment by the customers, the “baby, honey, sugar, bitch”, the “hey, you, slut…I said NO whip cream!”s, the staring, the following after work…I get to argue why all that means I’m worth a 33cent raise rather than 22cents, Degrading for any worker. Degrading especially for a woman worker. Only for me, I get to do this every year just four days after the anniversary of when someone I was in love with raped me. My annual review is truly the only reason I’m reminded of the anniversary of the assault.

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Stand Up for Sasha McCoy! Mother, Student, Starbucks Barista, IWW Unionist.

Tue, 16 Aug 2011 19:16:18 +0000

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Last month, Tiffany White,an African American mother of two, and union leader and organizer with the Industrial Workers of the World Starbucks Workers Union, was terminated without justification from a New York Starbucks.

The practice of targeting female union members continues in Nebraska, with recent threats to union organizer Sasha McCoy. McCoy, also an African American mother of two,was recently threatened with termination when she reduced her availability at the 15th and Douglas Starbucks so she could return to school to pursue a B.S. in biology.

McCoy's new schedule meets all of the requirements outlined in the corporate scheduling policy. McCoy also spoke with representatives from Partner Resources, the H.R. branch of the Starbucks Corporation, who informed McCoy that her new availability met the company's requirements.

Despite her efforts to follow proper procedure, McCoy was told by manager Scott Creed that if she did not add an additional 30 minutes to her weekly availability, she would be terminated after four years of service to the Starbucks corporation.

"I feel like I am being targeted right now because I am part of the union," says McCoy. "My commitment to my job was never questioned until I joined the union. I'm a single mother working to put myself through college on my own so I can improve my life for my family. A company that claims to support women in the workplace is threatening to put me out of a job over half an hour. This has nothing to do with my availability and everything to do with my union."

On the 14th of August members of the Industrial Workers of the World Nebraska General Membership Branch confronted Creed with an Unfair Labor Practice charge, alleging intimidation to union members for his threat to fire McCoy. Two months ago, Starbucks settled three Unfair Labor Practice charges regarding anti union practices that had taken place at the 15th and Douglas and 72nd and Dodge Starbucks locations in Omaha.

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Wobbly Flyering Squad Hits San Francisco Starbucks

Mon, 01 Aug 2011 22:37:33 +0000

(image) San Francisco--On Friday, July 29th members of the Bay Area Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) introduced San Francisco's financial district to the global action campaign against Starbucks union busting and the inspiring militancy of Starbucks union workers on strike in Chile.

The Wobbly flyering squad spoke to more than 50 downtown Starbucks workers and over 500 hundred customers. Both workers and customers were appalled to learn of the miserable working conditions of baristas in Chile and recent union-busting by Starbucks in New York. They were also shocked, yet excited to know that, in addition to the El Sindicato de Trabajadores de Starbucks en Chile (Starbucks Workers Union in Chile), Starbucks baristas in North America have organized with the IWW, where workers continue to inspire shop floor solidarity and to fight for better working conditions at Starbucks everywhere.

After becoming aware of the recent firing of Starbucks union barista Tiffany White-Thomas and the terrible treatment of Chilean workers, several customers made it clear they would no longer buy coffee from Starbucks. Many customers also said they intend to call Starbucks to tell them that their recent union-busting is unacceptable, and to inform the company that they support the Starbucks workers'?struggle here in the U.S. and abroad.

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IWW Starbucks Workers Union Declares Global Week of Action against Starbucks Union Busting in Solidarity with the Chilean Starbucks Strikers

Sat, 23 Jul 2011 18:08:13 +0000

(image) Liberté Locke (IWW, NYC) 917-693-7742, liberte.angrybarista [at] (English Only)

Andrés Giordano (President of El Sindicato de Trabajadores de Starbucks en Santiago, Chile) 011-569-918-19467, sindicatosbux [at] (English and Spanish Speaking)

July 22. 2011

Union Seeks to Hold Starbucks Accountable for their Union Busting at Home and Abroad

NEW YORKMonday, July 25th, the IWW Starbucks Workers Union will launch a Global Week of Action in support of their separate but sister union El Sindicato de Trabajadores de Starbucks en Chile (Starbucks Workers Union in Chile). 

Over 200 baristas and shift supervisors that work in the 32 Chilean Starbucks locations went on strike on July 7th.  They are striking in an effort to have their demands met.  Their most crucial demand is earning a higher wage.  Currently baristas at Starbucks in Chile make $2.50/hr. while the drinks are still sold for US prices, and they haven’t received raises in 8 years.  The baristas are also asking for a lunch stipend in order to eat during their shifts, this is something managers in Chile are provided.

Two weeks, to the day, after the strike began a New York City barista and mother of two young children was fired for announcing her membership in the IWW Starbucks Workers Union.  The company gave no official reason for her termination but did fire her when she refused to meet with higher ups without her attorney and union representative present, which was a previous agreement between the union and management.  Tiffany White-Thomas has worked at the Canal/Broadway Starbucks for over two years. She was up for a promotion when her store manager, Rafael Fox, told her that, being a mother, she would not have the time necessary to dedicate to the company so he would not be promoting her.  A letter given to Tiffany’s managers made reference to the collective efforts of the IWW Starbucks Union and the Chilean Strikers.  Both unions feel that that this solidarity across borders  is seen as a threat to the company and is, in part, what led to Tiffany’s termination.

In New York City, the first solidarity action will be a press conference and picket in front of the Canal and Broadway Starbucks location, 405 Broadway between Walker and Canal St., starting at 12pm on Monday, July 25th.  The IWW is demanding full reinstatement of Tiffany White-Thomas and that Starbucks negotiate in good faith with their brothers and sisters of El Sindicato de Trabajadores de Starbucks en Chile.

Similar actions in support of the Chilean Strikers are expected in various cities throughout the US and the world throughout next week.

The IWW Starbucks Workers Union is a grassroots organization composed entirely of current and former Starbucks employees who have fought for respect, security, affordable health care and a living wage since 2004. Working together, SWU members have improved working conditions for Starbucks employees and won legal victories against unfair labor practices.

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Urgent Solidarity Appeal - Starbucks Worker Wrongfully Terminated!

Thu, 21 Jul 2011 19:02:51 +0000

Call and/or text Starbucks Store Manager Rafael Fox @ 860-559-6339. Demand Tiffany White-Thomas' job be reinstated @ the Canal/Broadway Starbucks in NYC. Demand to know why he refuses to promote mothers, discriminates in hiring, and fires union workers. Do not stop.

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