ARIZONA NEWS

Avondale Starbucks employees take part in 3-day nationwide strike

Dec 16, 2022, 9:46 AM | Updated: 9:54 am

PHOENIX — Workers at a West Valley Starbucks are participating in a three-day nationwide strike as part of efforts to unionize the coffee giant’s stores.

“Starbucks thinks that they can silence workers and snuff out the union movement with unlawful union-busting actions. … Instead, they are proving exactly why all Starbucks stores need union representation,” Naomi Martinez, a shift supervisor for the store at 107th Avenue and Indian School Road in Avondale, said in a press release.

Martinez said she and coworkers are picketing in solidarity with workers at stores involved in unionization that were closed by the company “and to demand that Starbucks meet our union at the bargaining table for national, hybrid contract negotiations.”

Avondale employees are planning to strike from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday-Sunday and asking customers not to buy Starbucks gift cards until a contract is completed. They are also collecting clothing donations for Eve’s Place Community Services.

More than 1,000 workers at 100 stores across the country were planning to walk out over the next three days, according to Starbucks Workers United, the labor group organizing the effort. The strike will be the longest in the year-old unionization campaign.

The union says it expects the strike will shutter some stores entirely; at others, managers or other workers may keep the stores open.

This is the second major strike in a month by Starbucks’ U.S. workers. On Nov. 17, workers at 110 Starbucks stores held a one-day walkout. That effort coincided with Starbucks’ annual Red Cup Day, when the company gives reusable cups to customers who order a holiday drink.

The Avondale location as well as one in Mesa participated in the November action.

More than 264 of Starbucks’ 9,000 company-run U.S. stores have voted to unionize since late last year.

Starbucks opposes the unionization effort, saying the company functions better when it works directly with employees. But the company said last month that it respects employees’ lawful right to protest.

Workers United noted that Starbucks recently closed the first store to unionize in Seattle, the company’s hometown. Starbucks has said the store was closed for safety reasons.

Starbucks and the union have begun contract talks in about 50 stores but no agreements have been reached.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Avondale Starbucks employees take part in 3-day nationwide strike