Starbucks Workers United, the union trying to organize Starbucks workers across the country, is planning a “Red Cup Rebellion” on Nov. 16, the retailer’s “Red Cup Day” — traditionally one of Starbucks’ busiest days of the season. In addition to calling for its members to strike tomorrow, the union is asking “customers and allies to lead actions at Starbucks stores in their communities in solidarity with workers rising up for a fairer workplace.”
In a statement on its website, the union said: “Last year, workers went on strike. This year, on the heels of victories won by striking workers across different industries nationwide, Starbucks workers are taking the rebellion to the next level!” The site’s home page boasts of having unionized more than 360 Starbucks locations and having over 9,000 union partners.
The union has been seeking to consolidate talks with Starbucks to a national level since at least May 2023, but the company has maintained that each store needs to bargain individually.
Unions Accuse REI of Unfair Labor Practices
Another Seattle-based company, REI, is being targeted by two strong unions: the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW) and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU) with a total of 80 charges of unfair labor practices.
Workers from both organizations have filed coordinated, nationwide charges against REI over the company’s “bad faith bargaining practices and unilateral workplace changes that show a pattern of egregious anti-union behavior, emotional manipulation and retaliatory action against workers, such as firings, changes to work schedules and disciplinary practices,” according to a joint statement from the unions.
Labor efforts started slowly at REI: the August 2022 unionization of a Berkeley, Calif. store was only the second REI location to be organized. To date, eight stores have joined the UFCW, and workers from all eight unionized locations filed charges with their regional National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) offices.
According to a statement from the retailer, “REI disagrees with the unions’ contentions and will continue to fight their allegations. We are committed and engaged in good-faith bargaining with stores that have chosen union representation and will continue to participate fully in the negotiating process.”