Unionized Starbucks workers in Lawrence join national strike

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Unionized workers and allies were picketing Thursday morning outside Starbucks, in solidarity with a national movement pushing for better working conditions at the massive corporate coffee chain.

Workers at the Starbucks at 1731 W. 23rd St. planned to picket from 7 to 9 a.m. — peak morning rush hours — along with more than 150 other stores as a collective of the Starbucks Workers United. They stood with signs near the entrance to the parking lot, booing when vehicles crossed the picket line and cheering when vehicles passed up the caffeine fix in support of the workers.

Thursday is “Red Cup Day,” one of the busiest days of the year for the company. “Starbucks expects to give away thousands of reusable cups Thursday to customers who order holiday drinks,” the Associated Press reported.

“The strike is in response to increasing company wide cuts to dispersed labour hours but continuation of days that draw in larger amounts of business such as Thurs-yays and Redcup day,” Korbin Hogan, barista and shift supervisor, said via email. “The workers want it to be known that this is not a specific grievance with their manager but with the corporation because of their continued business decisions that undervalue the baristas and place short term gains over the long term longevity of the company and their employees.”

The workers in June 2022 voted 19-3 to unionize their store. They are organizing with Workers United and Starbucks Workers United with a goal of improving the quality of life and work life for all their store employees, including managers, shift managers and baristas.

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