Starbucks workers at US' second unionized store on strike!
Cheektowaga, New York - Starbucks workers at the second unionized location in the US are kicking off the weekend with day 2 of their strike for better conditions on the job.
Starbucks workers at the Genesee St. store, who won their union in January, have been on strike since Friday and plan to hold the line through the weekend.
They are calling on the coffee company to fix issues of understaffing, which leave baristas feeling overworked and undervalued.
Workers are also calling out the Starbucks' intense union-busting campaign. The company has racked up hundreds of unfair labor practice accusations since the Starbucks Workers United movement began.
"We’re sick of short-staffing, and short-staffing is union busting. We demand respect," a local barista named RJ Rebmann said in a Starbucks Workers United press release.
"We have partners and supervisors, including a pregnant supervisor, not having their needs or accomodations met. We are understaffed resulting in workers doing 3-4 jobs at once," added shift supervisor Lexi Rizzo. "We don’t have enough workers to operate at our full store hours, so none of us are getting the hours we need to afford to pay our bills. We have dedicated baristas who are getting their transfers denied because of our 'union status.'"
"This is union busting and this is unacceptable."
Starbucks workers are standing strong
Despite the corporate crackdown, Starbucks workers in Buffalo are standing strong and finding strength in solidarity.
"I stood with the Mercy Hospital workers when they went on strike, and I’m standing with my fellow workers now as we’re on strike. Every worker deserves a union," said another Genesee St. barista named Lindsey Diamond.
Meanwhile, Starbucks is in the process of being prosecuted by the National Labor Relations Board for over 200 violations of labor law in Western New York. The company has used a variety of tactics to delay the process, as frustration with the lack of accountability mounts.
"Justice delayed is justice denied. Starbucks is firing workers and closing stores – right now they think they’re above the law, and the labor board has done nothing to stop them," said Brian Murray, a labor leader at the Genesee St. store.
The three-day action is the latest in a wave of more than 50 strikes at unionized Starbucks stores around the US. In the Buffalo region alone, the Genesee St. location has become the fourth store to go on strike in July.
Cover photo: Screenshot/Twitter/brianmurrray1