UNITED STATES NEWS

Clash over LBGTQ+ decor at Starbucks leads to planned strikes at more than 150 stores in days ahead

Jun 23, 2023, 6:28 AM

Workers at more than 150 Starbucks locations across the country are planning to go on strike as the coffee chain and a union representing baristas clash over displays supporting LBGTQ+ causes in stores during Pride month.

Starbucks Workers United said in a tweet Friday that 3,500 workers will be on strike over the next week.

Bud Light suffered a related backlash and negative social media campaigns in some parts of the country.

Even brands like Chick-fil-A, which closes on Sundays for a day of “rest and worship,” and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store have been targeted online by anti-LBGTQ+ groups and individuals.

The union that represents baristas, Workers United, says that store managers around the country have curtailed or removed displays during a monthlong celebration of LGBTQ+ people. In some cases, the union said, managers told workers that Pride displays were a safety concern, citing recent incidents at Target where some angry customers tipped over merchandise and confronted workers.

Starbucks said last week that there had been no change to any policy on the matter and that its support is “unwavering.” The company has been outspoken in its support for LGBTQ+ employees for decades. It extended full health benefits to same-sex partners in 1988 and added health coverage for gender reassignment surgery in 2013.

Starbucks Corp. is also currently selling Pride-themed tumblers in its stores designed by Toronto artist Tim Singleton, who is gay.

Starbucks, based in Seattle, did not immediately respond to a request for comment early Friday.

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Clash over LBGTQ+ decor at Starbucks leads to planned strikes at more than 150 stores in days ahead