Employees at more than 150 unionized Starbucks locations across the U.S. plan to participate in a weeklong strike, beginning on June 23 in Seattle, after the union accused the coffee giant of prohibiting Pride month decorations at its cafes. Starbucks denies the claims and has reiterated its support for LGBTQ+ employees and customers.
Starbucks Workers United, a union representing more than 3,000 workers, announced on June 23 that employees across the country plan to participate in "Strike with Pride," which is intended to demand that Starbucks negotiate a fair contract with union stores and stop their "illegal union-busting campaign, which has significantly impacted Starbucks' LGBTQIA+ workforce."
"Starbucks is scared of the power that their queer partners hold, and they should be," Moe Mills, a shift supervisor at a store in Richmond Heights, Mo., said in a statement. "Their choice to align themselves with other corporations that have withdrawn their 'support' of the queer community in the time we need it most shows that they are not the inclusive company they promote themselves to be."
In a June 13 statement, Starbucks accused the union of "knowingly" and "recklessly" spreading false information about its culture and benefits—actions, the company says, that imbue distrust among LGBTQ+ partners and customers.
"To be clear: There has been no change to company policies or corporate new guidance issued to store leaders regarding Pride Month celebrations," Starbucks' statement said. "We continue to encourage our store leaders to celebrate the diversity of our partners and customers within their communities, including for Pride Month."
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