‘No contract, no coffee’ - Lansing Township participates in ‘Red Cup Rebellion’ strike

The National Labor Relations Board has issued 39 official complaints against Starbucks.
Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 5:55 PM EST
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - More than 7,000 Starbucks employees across the country are holding a nationwide strike called The Red Cup Rebellion.

The Red Cup Rebellion happens on the same day thousands of customers will visit Starbucks for a branded, red, holiday cup. Lake Lansing is not the only Starbucks location fighting for a fair contract -- more than 100 stores are joining together for the national Unfair Labor Practice Strike.

Lily Barrett has worked at the Starbucks - Lake Lansing store as a barista for the last two years. Workers there voted to unionize about nine months ago. Since then, Barrett said Starbucks hasn’t addressed any worker issues.

“When we vote to be represented by a union, that requires both parties negotiate a contract in good faith. So far they have refused to come to the table,” Barrett said. “Their lawyers will walk in, walk out within a minute.”

Barista Nova Starlight and other Starbucks workers told News 10 their issues vary from dress code to scheduling to work hours being cut.

“Honestly, union busting is wrong and I don’t stand for it,” said Starlight.

Human Resource and Labor Relations professor, Maite Tapia said the disagreement stems from this new working relationship between the company and its new unionized workers.

“And so this is then again why workers come out publicly and say, ‘Hey, this is enough, stop playing.’ You’ve got to sit with us at the negotiating table and let’s talk about the issues and let’s see how we can improve our work place,” said Tapia.

The National Labor Relations Board has issued 39 official complaints against Starbucks. While Starbucks workers wait in a bargaining date, they said they will continue to voice their concerns over pay and work conditions.

In a written statement, Starbucks said, “In locations where partners choose to participate in (the strike), we respect their right to engage in lawful protest activity. Though our focus has been, continues to be, on uplifting the Starbucks experience for our partners and customers.”

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