Starbucks Workers Go on Strike After Company Removes Pride Decorations From Stores

Starbucks Workers Go on Strike After Company Removes Pride Decorations From Stores

Around 3,500 unionized Starbucks employees took part in strikes after the company allegedly removed LGBTQ+ themed products from their shelves. Starbucks Workers United are seeking to gain a “fairer contract and respect for LGBTQIA+ workers,” along with gender neutral bathrooms. 

Last Friday, the Starbucks Workers United official Twitter page tweeted: STRIKE WITH PRIDE! Seattle Roastery leads nationwide Starbucks strike over Starbucks’ hypocritical treatment of LGBTQIA+ workers. Over 150+ stores and 3,500 workers will be on strike over the course of the next week.”

This follows months of far-right backlash directed at corporations like Target, Anheuser-Busch and Swatch, for selling LGBTQ+ themed products. In response, some stores have gone as far as to remove pride products from shelves to appease a minority of angry people. 

CNN reports “as of Monday, over 60 Starbucks locations in 17 states went on strike.” One of the first of these strikes occurred in lower Manhattan’s Astor Place in lower Manhattan, a dozen Starbucks employees gathered on Sunday to picket along the route of the city’s annual Pride parade, according to reports from Reuters. 

In response to the claims from union members, a Starbucks spokesperson spoke on the brand’s “unwavering” support for the LGBTQ+ community stating: “We remain deeply concerned by false information being spread about our inclusive store environments, our company culture and the benefits we offer our partners.”

The company has also made statements about reiterating their policies on store displays. North American Starbucks president, Sara Trilling, released a statement on Monday saying: “We intend to issue clearer centralized guidelines…for in-store visual displays and decorations that will continue to represent inclusivity and our brand,” according to CNN.

For years disputes between Starbucks and the employee union have gotten messy, with the company filing complaints with the National Labor Relations Board over union claims. As Starbucks employees continue to strike this week, the conflict continues. 

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