1. Home
  2. /
  3. Uncategorized
  4. /
  5. U.S. Starbucks Workers Strike,...

U.S. Starbucks Workers Strike, Alleging Bias Against LGBTQ+ Community

The Stock Dork is reader supported. We may earn a commission, at no additional cost to you if you buy products or signup for services through links on our site.

A flurry of Starbucks strikes began on Friday in Seattle, Washington, spreading to over 150 stores across the United States, with plans for 3,500 employees to participate in the following week. The strikes, initiated by the Starbucks Workers United Union, are a protest against what is perceived as the coffee company’s discriminatory treatment of its LGBTQIA+ workers.

The union is demanding that Starbucks negotiate a fair contract with unionized stores and cease what they call an “illegal union-busting campaign.” They allege that this campaign particularly affects Starbucks’ LGBTQIA+ workforce. The union accuses Starbucks of using intimidation tactics to suppress the rights of queer and transgender employees, including threats of cutting work hours and healthcare benefits.

Read More: Uh-Oh! Pride Parades Get Thumbs Down from Americans: Is it Too Much Rainbow for Business?

The union is also advocating for more welcoming workspaces, demanding all cafés should have gender-neutral bathrooms, safer work environments, and effective ways of addressing security issues. The union claims that many employees fail to receive a guaranteed 20 hours of work each week, the minimum required to access healthcare benefits.

Credit: DepositPhotos

In response to these allegations, Starbucks Corporation has issued a statement refuting these claims, reasserting its commitment to the LGBTQIA+ community. Starbucks’ top executives, CEO Laxman Narasimhan and North American President Sara Trilling, stated that there had been no changes to any company policies related to inclusive store environments, company culture, and the benefits offered to Starbucks’ employees.

Read Also: Florida High School Faces Backlash Over Yearbook Spread, Offers Refunds and Reprints

This wave of protests was sparked by a Twitter post from the union on June 13. The post announced Starbucks’ alleged ban on Pride decorations, accusing the company of caving to anti-LGBTQ+ pressure and removing Pride merchandise. The union also highlighted changes to Starbucks’ transgender benefit plan, which reportedly led to workers having to pay out-of-pocket fees and lose access to specific providers.

The Starbucks Workers United union ended its thread on a poignant note, stating that true allyship with the LGBTQ+ community involves negotiating a union contract that ensures workers’ benefits, freedom of expression, and accountability mechanisms for management. The union argues that the company’s actions don’t align with its publicly pro-LGBTQ+ stance and seem designed to protect its high profits at the expense of its employees’ rights. Starbucks Corporation has not yet issued a detailed response to these specific allegations.

Read Next: Bud Light Backlash Persists as Some Beer Prices Effectively Drop to Zero