Starbucks is denying an employee union’s claim that the massive coffee shop chain banned Pride Month decorations from its stores.
The Starbucks Workers United (SWU) union alleged Tuesday that the chain had banned Pride decorations from all of its U.S. locations. Within hours, Starbucks told the Daily Beast that the reports were untrue.
“We unwaveringly support the LGBTQIA2+ community,” a company spokesperson told the outlet. “There has been no change to any policy on this matter and we continue to encourage our store leaders to celebrate with their communities including for U.S. Pride month in June.”
New Republic writer Tori Otten described the alleged decision to remove Pride decorations as a “disgusting cave to the far right” that “all but guarantees further attacks on LGBTQ people and culture.”
The Starbucks Workers United (SWU) union slammed the policy, tweeting that the chain had “failed to materially support the LGBTQ+ community.”
“If Starbucks was a true ally, they would stand up for us, especially during a time when LGBTQ+ people are under attack,” the SWU Twitter thread continued. “A company that cares wouldn’t turn their back on the LGBTQ+ community to protect their already astronomically high profits.” The SWU also called for a new union contract including locked-in benefits for transgender workers.
BREAKING: In the middle of Pride Month, Starbucks BANS Pride decorations in stores across the United States.
— Starbucks Workers United (@SBWorkersUnited) June 13, 2023
Otten went on to claim that Starbucks’ response was “understandable” given the “right-wing rage” directed at other corporations that chose to observe Pride Month. “Target stores in five different states received bomb threats over the weekend and had to be evacuated,” she wrote. (RELATED: Cracker Barrel Under Fire For Posting Rainbow-Colored Rocking Chair On Social Media)
The New Republic is evil
The bomb threats came from LGBTQ activists not from the right pic.twitter.com/Cnrp2rXzFU
— Tim Pool (@Timcast) June 13, 2023
Bomb threats directed at two Target stores in Lafayette, Louisiana, accused the company of having “betrayed the LGBTQ+ community” by removing its children’s Pride displays, according to local outlet KLFY. The Washington Post reported on similar threats “targeting stores in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Utah, from people claiming to be angry about the removal of merchandise.”