Starbucks Workers Hold Their Longest Strike Yet as Frustrations Mount Over Bargaining

More than 1,000 unionized Starbucks workers are on strike over the weekend.

Striking Starbucks workers hold signs and chant outside of a Starbucks coffee shop during a national strike on November 17, 2022 in San Francisco, California. Thousands of members of the Starbucks Workers Union are striking at over one hundred Starbucks stores across the country as workers try to negotiate a contract with Starbucks. The one day strike is taking place on Red Cup Day, when Starbucks gives customers limited-edition reusable red holiday cups, one of the company's most profitable days of the year.
Starbucks Workers United is holding its longest strike yet. Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

More than 1,000 unionized Starbucks workers are on strike starting today (Dec. 16) to protest the company’s actions toward the union, which has yet to reach a contract with management. The majority of workers will strike through the weekend, according to Starbucks Workers United, the independent union that has been organizing baristas throughout the U.S.

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The strike is the longest in the union campaign’s history and comes a month after workers walked out on “Red Cup Day,” one of the coffee chain’s biggest sales days of the year. Shortly after that strike, Starbucks closed the first store to unionize in Seattle, where the company is headquartered.

“Starbucks sent a clear message when they closed the Broadway and Denny store,” said Michelle Eisen, a barista from the Buffalo area and member of the organizing committee, in statement. “They’re doubling down on their union-busting, so we’re doubling down, too.”

The union is asking for fair staffing, an end to store closures, and for Starbucks management to bargain with them in good faith. Since last year more than 260 Starbucks stores have unionized, representing about 2 percent of the company’s U.S. workforce. But Starbucks Workers United alleges management has targeted the union by closing unionized stores and firing union workers, as well as thwarting collective bargaining sessions. The National Labor Relations Board has filed more than 45 complaints accusing Starbucks of labor violations.

Starbucks Workers Hold Their Longest Strike Yet as Frustrations Mount Over Bargaining