New Jersey Starbucks workers strike as part of nationwide protests, claim unfair labor practices

Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker said the Starbucks stores in Hopewell Township, Hamilton, Summit and Montclair have been waiting between six and 10 months to form a first collective bargaining agreement.

Lauren Due and Lanette Espy

Mar 22, 2023, 10:54 AM

Updated 387 days ago

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Troubles at Starbucks continue to brew as another workers' strike took place nationwide Wednesday morning.
Thousands of Starbucks workers across the country picketed outside stores as part as a coast-to-coast Founder's Day strike and protested what they said are unfair labor practices. Union workers wanted to make their demands known as people walked into Starbucks.
"If corporate's going to be a jerk, then we're not going to work," chants echoed outside of Starbucks during the protest.
"I'm all about for the little people, you feel me. If they are not getting what they deserve why not stand up for yourself. That's all I'm saying," a supporter said.
Another supporter said, "Everyone has a voice, and it needs to be opinionated, so more power to them."
The picket line was well received by some. Other customers still walked into Starbucks to get their morning cup of coffee.
Union workers are demanding fair labor practices. They say they have been waiting for months to form a collective bargaining agreement.
"All this time, we still haven't even gotten. I mean it says a lot about the company if it doesn't want to have a fair negation with its own employees," said James Cruz, a Starbucks employee.
CEO Howard Schultz stepped down earlier than expected and days before he's expected to testify in front of a Senate committee. Sens. Bob Menendez and Cory Booker recently sent a letter to Starbucks, urging its now former CEO to stop delaying the negotiations with four unionized New Jersey Starbucks stores and negotiate with them as required by the National Labor Relations Act.
"I love working at Starbucks. I want to be able to afford to work my job," Niah Baker said. "You are seeing people who are going from like 25 hours to 12 hours. There's people who are scared they are going to lose their job because the retaliation they face from management."
This is the third time Starbucks workers have gone on strike.
"I'm completely hopeful that eventually right now we are getting real close to real serious change with Starbucks," Cruz said.
Unionized Starbucks in Montclair, Hopewell Township, Hamilton and Summit remained open on Wednesday.
"Rather than publicizing rallies and protests, we encourage Workers United to live up to their obligations by responding to our proposed sessions and meeting us in-person to move the good faith bargaining process forward," Starbucks said in a statement.


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