Starbucks workers protest Investor Day in Seattle

Hundreds of protesters gathered outside Starbucks’ Seattle headquarters, demanding that employees be invited to the company’s “Investor Day.”

SEATTLE — Hundreds of protesters gathered outside Starbucks headquarters in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood Tuesday morning, demanding that employees be invited to the company’s “Investor Day.”

Investor Day is a gathering for executives and investors to discuss opportunities to expand the company. Starbucks was scheduled to unveil its “reinvention strategy” during Tuesday’s event in Seattle.

The group of protesters included members of Starbucks Workers United, local workers and workers and community allies.

Organizers from Starbucks Workers United, the group trying to unionize US Starbucks stores, said they are also urging the company to “end its reckless break-up campaign.”

Workers at Starbucks’ Broadway and Denny’s Capitol Hill locations will go on strike, while workers at the company’s SODO headquarters will protest. Workers at the Broadway and Denny locations were the first to unionize on the West Coast.

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“Starbucks employees are referred to as partners, which is ironic given that the company is strongly opposed to partnering with us. They delayed the negotiations,” said Olympia’s Billie Adeosun, a barista since 2015. “You lied to the employees. They have proven that they value their performatively liberal brand and their profits more than the workers who bring in those revenues.”

Starbucks Workers United said in a press release that Starbucks executives “have engaged in unethical practices that directly result in the harm and hardship of low-wage workers,” adding that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has filed 26 official grievances against Starbucks . The group said the complaints included 97 charges and over 600 labor law violations.

According to Starbucks Workers United, workers formed more new unions in a 12-month period than any other US company in the past 20 years. According to Starbucks Workers United, at least 326 stores in 37 states have unionized and 233 stores in 33 states have been successfully unionized by the NLRB.

In August, Starbucks asked the National Labor Relations Board to temporarily suspend all union elections at its US stores, citing claims by a board official that regional NLRB officials had failed to coordinate properly with union organizers.

In a letter to the chairman of the board, Starbucks said the unnamed NLRB employee briefed the company on the activity that took place at the board’s St. Louis office in the spring when there was a union election at a Starbucks store in Overland Park, Kansas. monitored .

The store is one of Starbucks’ US locations where workers have petitioned the NLRB to hold union elections since late last year.

KING 5 has reached out to Starbucks for comment but has not received a response at this time.

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