Starbucks Workers Join IWW

News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
formatting link

Starbucks Workers Move to Unionize
NewsMax Wires
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
New York, NY -- Starbucks workers here have organized a
union with the Industrial Workers of the World IU/660 and
have submitted union cards today to the NLRB for a
certification election.
The workers are poised to become the first Starbucks
Baristas union certified in the country. Starbucks Baristas
at the 36th and Madison location in Midtown Manhattan have
come together in an effort to raise themselves out of
poverty as well as to achieve respect and dignity on the
job. The workers are calling on Starbucks to obey the law as
the election approaches.
"Behind the green aprons and smiles are individuals living
in serious poverty," said Daniel Gross, a worker at the
store. "Baristas are the cornerstone of a Starbucks coffee
shop, we just deserve better. Starbucks cashes in on a
community friendly image but it certainly doesn't extend to
their workers or coffee farmers. That's why we went Union."
Starbucks is a $15 billion company with over 7,500 locations
around the world, but workers have most emphatically not
shared in their success. In New York City with one of the
highest costs of living in the world, Starbucks workers
start at $7.75 an hour and eventually receive raises
amounting to merely a few cents.
Starbucks has also developed a scheme whereby all Baristas
work on a part-time basis and are not guaranteed any amount
of hours per week thus making it exceedingly difficult for
workers to budget for necessities like rent, utilities, and
"I come to work and I work hard," said Maureen Medianero,
23, who has worked at Starbucks for almost 2 years. "But I'm
still hanging on by a shoe string not knowing if I can make
ends meet to support my daughter. It's frightening."
Although Starbuck workers serve an enormous volume of
beverages, many of them extremely hot, in order to save
money management refuses to schedule enough workers to do
the required work safely. Instead, workers are forced to
perform their duties at unsafe speeds with an undue level of
physical exertion.
"A Starbucks coffee shop is an ergonomic minefield. The
stores are supposed to mimic an Italian cafe without
considering the uncomfortable bending and reaching we have
to do," explained Barista Anthony Polanco. "This isn't your
mom and pop coffee shop, we're talking McDonald's busy every
day. Starbucks talks about 'Creating Warmth' but the only
warmth I feel is the heat pad at the end of the day."
The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), founded in 1905,
is a union dedicated to workplace democracy. IWW IU/660
represents workers in the retail industry.
Reply to
Dan Clore
"The workers are poised to become the first Starbucks Baristas union... Baristas are the cornerstone of a Starbucks coffee"
Is he alluding to those people who push a button on a *$s-modified Thermoplan 'Black and White' Automatic to generate an 'espresso'-style coffee beverage?
Reply to
Peter Foster
Dan, you should get off your high horse! These people work their asses off to provide a product that a lot of people want. I, for one, am happy to see them start to organize. I can only hope that the corporate office doesn't squash their early attempts. I know that bashing Starbucks is the trendy thing to do here, but these are people too, and they deserve just as much respect as you do. The next time you feel the need to feel superior to someone who's trade you find below you, just remember that they are people too, just trying to make a living.
Reply to
"Starbucks workers ,,,,,have submitted union cards today to the NLRB for a certification election."
This means that the union has not yet been certified and may never be certified. Even if it is, it will be at this one *$ branch. What are the odds that *$ will renew the lease on this location if they go union? Or perhaps this will become the first, experimental self-service *$?
"The workers are calling on Starbucks to obey the law as the election approaches."
What law is *
$ violating?
"Starbucks cashes in on a community friendly image but it certainly doesn't extend to their workers or coffee farmers. That's why we went Union."
So joining the union will help coffee farmers? How?
"Starbucks has also developed a scheme whereby all Baristas work on a part-time basis and are not guaranteed any amount of hours per week ."
Yes, they've even given a name to this fiendish evil "scheme". They call a it a "part time job". Bwahahahahah
Other things unmentioned:
Beside the wages, *$ workers receive tip income.
A *
$ job is not supposed to be a career - they are intended as a short term stepping stone jobs for students, actors, people with nose rings, etc. and not meant for you to be able to support a family on.
Reply to
Jack Denver
| certified. Even if it is, it will be at this one *$ branch. What are the | odds that *$ will renew the lease on this location if they go union?
At 36th and Madison? I'm guessing 100%.
| "The workers are calling on Starbucks to obey the law as the election | approaches." | | What law is *$ violating?
I don't see any claim that they are currently violating a law. I assume they are trying to preempt Starbucks from using intimidation tactics against the workers engaged in organizing. I have no idea if the NYC *
$ management would be inclined to break the law in this way, evidently the employees involved (who know them best) have determined that a little reminder might be useful.
| A *$ job is not supposed to be a career - they are intended as a short term | stepping stone jobs for students, actors, people with nose rings, etc. and | not meant for you to be able to support a family on.
Isn't this what the auto magnates and coal mine owners used to say?-)
- David R.
formatting link
Reply to
D. Ross
Reply to
Not only cliché, but also untrue. In fact, I would hardly know where to begin to untangle all the falsehoods in this single sentence. It might make a fun challenge to see who can point out the most.
Reply to
Dan Clore
OK, Clore, tell us what they will get out of those union dues they will soon be forced to pay as a condition of working there. Retirement pensions? How many people are going to make a career of working at Starbucks? Health benefits? How long will they have to work to obtain those?
Once again, the unions are trying to find a way of financing their Ponzi scheme retirement plans by looking for new sources of union dues. Suckering in workers who won't even be around next year to collect any "benefits", much less 20 years from now, is a racket that any neophyte hustler can play... :O|
Reply to
Stan de SD
Hmmmm......what do I get out my union...? Let me think: regular raises not based on favortism, recognized seniority for schedule picks and vacations, overtime (no, it not all covered by the Federal law), better working conditions, paid holidays, health benefits (after I finished my probationary period of 90 days), jury duty pay, bereavement pay, a grievance procedure for when the boss screws me over (and he will), meal periods (no, the state and federal law don't really touch that, either), report pay (so they don't call me in for 20 minutes of work after a 30 minute drive), premium pay for certain jobs, transfer guidelines, protection against managers doing my work and taking my hours, guidelines for drug testing.......
and I never even had to mention "pension".
I admit to not knowing much about IWW, but where I work, I'm damn glad there is a union that helps me out. Let's hope Starbucks employees choose a good union.
Reply to
I'm currently self-employed, and even with a lukewarm economy, my monthly income is 3-4 times what I earned at the only union job I ever worked. Again, the same question applies - given that benefits are aimed towards long-term career employees, how will the average college-age student benefit when he or she is going to move down the road in a year or two?
Reply to
Stan de SD
Better working conditions, breaks, regular raises, sick pay, paid holidays.....My company has a lot of college-age people, and they do benefit from those things, even in the short term. I would like to know exactly what brought on the desire for a union in this NY Starbucks. I doubt someone woke up one day and said "hey, let's organize." Many times, it not the unions who go in to try to organize, it's the employees who make the first contact after putting up with all sorts of abuse from the employer.
Anyone know what precipitated this particular push?
Reply to
Good for the workers at Starbucks. I don't know about them but my dues are only $12 bucks a month. And, what do you have against a marxist labor union? Although, in all honesty, one of the reasons I joined was to irritate the anti-union folks. A lot of what I do is only to irritate others. Socrates was my hero you see.
Reply to
News & Views for Anarchists & Activists:
formatting link

Starbucks Obstructing First US Union Vote posted by IU/660 on Tuesday June 01 2004 @ 11:44AM PDT June 1, 2004 Contact: mailto: Starbucks Obstructing First US Union Vote
Workers to Schultz: What are you so scared of?
New York, NY--The Starbucks Baristas Union and community members across the country have condemned repeated attempts by the company to deny workers a fair vote on the Union. While paying lip-service to respecting the choice of employees, Starbucks has deployed a variety of crude tactics in an effort to defeat the IWW IU/660, which would be the first union certified in the United States at the mammoth chain.
Supporters around the country and internationally are contacting Starbucks demanding they live up to their rhetoric. If Starbucks really is a bastion of worker benefits, what is Chairman Howard Schultz, who raked in over $17 million last year, so scared of? The truth is Starbucks, with its poverty wages and rampant repetitive-stress dangers, resembles a sweatshop more than it does a decent place to work.
The IWW released today the text they obtained of a voice mail Howard Schultz sent to employees around the company regarding the Union which Schultz calls, "very disappointing and disturbing."
"What we have here is classic union busting plain and simple," said Benjamin Ferguson, an IWW member working on the campaign. "They are using the same down and dirty tricks we see time and time again from highly successful corporations unwilling to give their workers a fair shake."
One the legal front, Starbucks has hired corporate law firm Akin Gump to argue that the workers in the store aren't entitled to a vote. Mr. Shultz is fond of saying the Starbucks Mission Statement requires respect and dignity for employees but apparently that does not include exercising the right to form a union. The IWW will face off with Starbucks on June 2 at a formal hearing at the National Labor Relations Board.
"Single stores within retail chains have long been presumed appropriate bargaining units," said Stuart Lichten of Kennedy, Schwartz, and Cure, the firm representing the Union. "We are confident we will prevail on the merits."
The company is also using scare tactics to intimidate workers. Management has been interrogating certain workers about the union while spreading misinformation about joining. At the same time, senior executives are in and out of the store constantly making sure workers feel the heat.
Starbucks earned a record $268 million last year on revenues of more than $4 billion. The company admits that Baristas add tremendous value to the enterprise yet refuses to pay them a wage that would bring them out of poverty.
Starbucks workers in New York City announced last month that they had formed a union with the IWW IU/660. The IWW is a union for all workers, dedicated to organizing on the job and in the community. IU/660 represents retail workers.
Text of Voicemail Sent by Howard Schultz, Wednesday 5/19
Hello partners, this is Howard Schultz with a message for all of you. I wanted to take a moment and reach out to you regarding information that the company recently received. A local union in New York claims that some of our partners at the 36th and Madison location in New York City have expressed an interest in being represented by them.
While I recognize that this is related to only one store, this news is very disappointing and disturbing. Over the last 25 years, we have worked together to build a great company based on our core values and as a result have built great trust in one another. We always strive to live by our mission statement and guiding principles. And when we wrote the guiding principles, we very deliberately put creating a great work environment and treating everyone with dignity and respect as our highest priority.
Back in the earliest days of Starbucks, we did what others said could not be done -- together we built a profitable company while integrating a social conscience into everything we do. We began offering comprehensive health care coverage and ownership in the company in the form of Bean Stock to full- and part-time partners. Those decisions were landmark events in our company history and our compassion for one another truly differentiates us. We have succeeded beyond everyone's wildest expectations. Today, we employ more than 80,000 partners around the world. And our commitment to our core values is as strong today as it was in those very early days of our company.
Because of the way we work together, we receive many accolades from the outside world for what we do -- we're on the Fortune 100 Best Places to work list, the Most Admired Companies list, and much more. That recognition is great, but what's more important is that we have a caring and supportive culture. So please, if you ever have any concerns about our company, reach out to your local leadership, write to Mission Review, or use any of the many means we have to discuss and resolve issues and create a comfortable culture for everyone.
I want to conclude by simply thanking you for everything you do each day, and for being the real heart and soul of Starbucks. Thank you.
Related at Infoshop:
formatting link
Reply to
Dan Clore
Why would any company want their employees following organized crime thugs?
Hey, here's an idea.... DON'T WORK THERE! If it's a bad job, sell your labor elsewhere! I know that's a difficult concept for morons to grasp, but if you can't find a sucker willing to pay you better then just mayby you arealready overpaid and you should be happy to get it.
For example?
You can make or join whatever private club you want. In a free society, the employer shouldn't have to associate with it. What if the bread makers union wanted to force you to pay more for bread and demanded that you couldn't stop buying it or shop elsewhere?
ROTFLMAO! Lawyers and unions talking about "merits"? That's funny!
Having been an employee where a union was attempting to infiltrate, I can tell you the attempts at intimidation are virtually unisersally on the part of the crime bosses sheep trying to organize a union. The company has it's hands tired by the goofy regulations. If a union threatens the company to the poit that they will have to close the doors if the thungs get in, they aren't even allowed to tell the employees.
So what? When you buy something, is it your responsibility to take care of the seller's family?
Ynions represent the crime boss, not the sheep.
He sounds reasonable.
William R. James
Reply to
Wm James
One modest regular payment to the OCTs, and, voilà! Labor peace. Did you really need to ask?
I don't think this has much to do with the subject at hand, however.
Reply to
That's not an answer to the question he asked, but to a different question - "what are the benefits of paying the union, once workers have unionized". But, thnaks for conceding that a union is nothing more than a "protection" scam.
Reply to
"G*rd*n" :
"zztop8970" :
I simply answered wrjames's question directly. Although it hardly seems possible, your reading skills have taken a turn for the worse.
Reply to

Site Timeline Threads

DrinksForum website is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.