Employees To Strike At 150 Starbucks Stores Over Removal Of Pride Decor, Union Says

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Laurel Duggan Social Issues and Culture Reporter
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Workers at more than 150 Starbucks locations will be striking in the coming week over complaints about the company’s handling of LGBT issues, including its alleged pressure on stores to remove Pride Month decorations, according to Starbucks Workers United.

The union accused Starbucks of preventing stores from putting up Pride decorations and listed several labor-related complaints the union claims disproportionately impact LGBT employees, according to a press release. Starbucks denied any change to its store decoration policies in a June 13 press release, which accused the union of spreading false information and boasted of the company’s support for the LGBT community, including a line of Pride merchandise designed by LGBT artists. (RELATED: Jury Says White Starbucks Manager Was Fired For Her Race, Awards Her $25 Million)

“Starbucks is scared of the power that their queer partners hold, and they should be. Their choice to align themselves with other corporations that have withdrawn their ‘support’ of the queer community in the time we need it most shows that they are not the inclusive company they promote themselves to be,” a Starbucks shift supervisor said in a press release from the union. “We’re striking with pride to show the public who Starbucks really is, and to let them know we’re not going anywhere.”

Courtesy of Starbucks

Photo courtesy of Starbucks

The strike could grow to more than 200 stores after several locations complete their strike authorization votes, according to CNBC. The union accused Starbucks of illegal union-busting and illegal attempts to stop workers from unionizing. 

“Workers United continues to knowingly, and recklessly, spread false information related to our inclusive culture and benefits — actions that risk marginalizing and instilling distrust among our LGBTQIA2+ partners and customers,” the company said in its press release.

“There has been no change to company policies or corporate new guidance issued to store leaders regarding Pride Month celebrations. We continue to encourage our store leaders to celebrate the diversity of our partners and customers within their communities, including for Pride Month,” the company said. “Our store leaders are each empowered to decorate their stores for heritage months, including Pride Month, within the framework of our established store safety guidelines.”

A Starbucks spokesperson referred the Daily Caller News Foundation to the company’s press release and expressed apologies to customers over store closures.

Starbucks Workers United did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.

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