Hundreds of Starbucks employees strike during Red Cup promotion
While Starbucks acknowledged the strike, stating that a handful of stores were affected and partners were participating, it emphasized that many locations remained operational and served customers.
Protests were particularly visible at the Astor Place store in New York, where workers chanted slogans demanding a contract.
Despite the disruption, the store continued to serve a steady flow of customers from NYU.
This event is significant for Starbucks, with data indicating a 94% surge in store visits on Red Cup Day compared to the annual daily average.
The union describes this day as especially challenging due to high customer volume and resulting long wait times, which often lead to employee mistreatment.
Barista Mary Boca, 22, from the Astor Place store, voiced her aspiration for higher wages and increased staffing.
She highlighted that their no-tipping policy potentially affects earnings by $100 per paycheck, which might deter new hires.
Her colleague, Edwin Palma Solis, 24, echoed concerns about how the no-tip rule could be discouraging potential staff.
Despite a union presence in less than 3% of Starbucks' nearly 10,000 U.S. company-operated stores, this is not the first walkout, with over 100 locations striking last year.
The company's recent announcement of a 3% wage increase was criticized by employees as insufficient, contrasting with the company's 11% revenue bump and larger wage increases in other industries.