Global day of Action against Starbucks: Here we are

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cantdocartwheels's picture
Joined: 15-03-04
Jul 17 2008 08:22
Tacks wrote:
woundedhobo wrote:
tacks wrote:
focussing on starbucks workers was not particularly relevant to whats going on the UK

What is going on in the UK? Are not more people finding themselves in the low-wage, nonunion service sector as manufacturing is shipped to Cambodia, Madagascar....?

yes, since the mid 80's, for sure. And yes the IWW is very suited to organsing the growth of the service industry and also the more recent [permanent] 'temporary' sector. .....One job branch of 3 to 5 ppl that lasted about a year

Isn't this pretty aptly demonstrating that the shop model currently being used by the IWW isn't suited to organising in a lot of service industries or casualised work. I mean not really having a go at you guys here, because afterall this is a somewhat wider reachig problem than just the IWW afterall but I think its a little silly to pretend that the model used doesn;t have serius problems.

Joined: 16-02-04
Jul 17 2008 15:45

can't do cartwheels, no union in the world that I know of has been very successful at organizing small groups of workers at retail sites. What model you think would work?

The fact that retail is difficult is probably the strongest argument against going for Starbucks, but the IWW and IWA are as good as any for the task, and we should not completely give up.

Joined: 27-11-06
Jul 17 2008 22:56

Just a question.
Is it normal that nearly none of the iww country websites has any informations or an overwiew about the 5th of June until now? I'm a little bit shocked about the professionality of the iww. It seems that nearly all websites are outdated (uk, au, scotland, de) and too has only some pieces from the anglo-american side of the day/world. ???

cantdocartwheels's picture
Joined: 15-03-04
Jul 18 2008 09:51
woundedhobo wrote:
can't do cartwheels, no union in the world that I know of has been very successful at organizing small groups of workers at retail sites.

Yeah course, hence why i said it was a bit of a wider reaching problem than the IWW.

What model you think would work?

I was discussing it in the context of the UK where the problem isn;t just the fact that ts a small retail outlet but also the high turnover of staff. Fuck knows what the answer is, i just think its foolish to say that the IWW is well suited to the campaign since in the context of the UK that somewhat flies in the face of reality. I'm just not realy down with pretending your in a much stronger position than you actually are is all.

Joined: 16-02-04
Jul 18 2008 16:05

kc, the Starbucks Union website has a link to the Grand Rapids Michigan Starbucks website that documents all the cities that participated.

Also, I would say most people interested in the IWW don't hang out much on the Internet.

Jason Cortez
Joined: 14-11-04
Jul 20 2008 08:59

Including all those who have never even made a phone call star green black star green black star green black star green black star green black

Joined: 15-04-06
Jul 22 2008 13:42

*Mall of America Starbucks Baristas go Union!*
IWW Baristas protest store closures, demand living wage

Baristas at the Mall of America Starbucks walked off the café floor
today and delivered a demand letter to management calling for just
treatment of all employees affected by Starbucks’ closure of stores
nationwide. The surprise job action comes in the wake of the coffee
giant’s announcement that it will close 600 stores, including 27 in

The baristas demanded a fair severance package for affected workers.
Starbucks reportedly plans to give workers just one month notice before
laying them off with a paltry two weeks’ pay The company will insist
that some baristas transfer and will revoke severance pay if transfer
offers are refused.

The protesting baristas went public as members of the Starbucks Workers
Union, which is a campaign of the Industrial Workers of the World labor
union. Starbucks previously backtracked on its refusal to disclose which
locations would be shuttered after the union and others condemned the
company for leaving workers in a nerve-wracking limbo.

The store action makes the Mall of America location the first Starbucks
in Minnesota, and the first store in the Mall of America, to have a
public union presence.

Erik Forman, a barista at the store recently fired for union activity,
said, “With the skyrocketing cost of living, workers have no other
choice than to stand up for improvements on the job. The alternative is
a continued decline into poverty and a degraded quality of life for
working families. But this doesn’t have to happen. Our message is hope-
even at Starbucks in the Mall of America, we can organize and fight!”

While portraying itself as a ‘socially-responsible’ employer, Starbucks
pays baristas a poverty wage of $7.60/hr. In addition, all retail hourly
workers at Starbucks in the United States are part-time employees with
no guaranteed number of work hours per week. According to Starbucks
figures released to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 40.9% of its
employees (including managers) are covered by the company health care
package, a lower percentage than the oft-criticized Wal-Mart, which
insures 47% of its workforce.

Since the launch of the IWW campaign at Starbucks on May 17, 2004, the
company has been cited multiple times for illegal union-busting by the
National Labor Relations Board. The company settled two complaints
against it and is awaiting a decision by a judge in New York on more
than 30 additional rights’ violations. Starbucks’ large anti-union
operation is operated in conjunction with the Akin Gump law firm and the
Edelman public relations firm.
The IWW Starbucks Workers Union is a grassroots organization of over 200
current and former employees at the world's largest coffee chain united
for secure work hours and a living wage. The union has members
throughout the United States fighting for systemic change at the company
and remedying individual grievances with management. The SWU has been
especially active in New York City, Chicago, and Grand Rapids.

Union baristas, bussers, and shift supervisors have fought successfully
toward improved scheduling and staffing levels, increased wages, and
workplace safety. Workers who join the union have immediate access to
co-workers and members of the community who will struggle with them for
a better life on the job.