Starbucks Workers Union Has Called for Walkouts to Highlight Staff Issues at Red Cup Day



If you’re a Starbucks enthusiast gearing up for the much-anticipated Red Cup day this Thursday, you might be in for a surprise. The Workers United union dropped a bombshell on Monday, announcing that thousands of baristas across hundreds of Starbucks stores are gearing up to walk out during the coffee giant’s Red Cup Day promotional event. 

Why? Well, it seems like the behind-the-scenes brewing isn’t as smooth as your favorite latte. Let’s dive into the caffeinated controversy.

A Brewing Storm on the Horizon

In a move that might ruffle some feathers at Starbucks headquarters, the Workers United union declared that the iconic Red Cup day is one of the most challenging and understaffed days for their baristas. It’s like attempting to juggle too many coffee beans at once. The union cited staffing and scheduling issues as the main culprits, turning what should be a joyous holiday event into a logistical nightmare for those behind the counter.

Red Cups and Empty Shifts

Imagine the chaos when the aroma of freshly brewed coffee fills the air, but there aren’t enough hands on deck to keep the espresso machines humming. This is precisely the perplexity the baristas find themselves in. The union, representing over 360 unionized stores and more than 9,000 Starbucks employees, is sounding the alarm about the dire need for more hands on deck during the critical holiday season.

A Tradition of Turmoil: Last Year’s Protests

This isn’t the first time Starbucks employees have flexed their collective muscles. Last year, the Workers United union called for protests at more than 100 Starbucks stores on Red Cup day. It’s like an ongoing battle brewing between the apron-clad warriors and the corporate coffee kingdom.

Broken Promises and Unmet Demands

Starbucks, however, seems to be singing a different tune. In response to the union’s call for action, the coffee giant mentioned that Workers United hasn’t been keen on progressing contract bargaining for over four months. They also pointed fingers at unmet campaign promises. It’s a classic case of he-said-she-said, with the baristas caught in the middle.‘red-cup-day-el-minuto-english-teledownloader.com_.mp4
Video courtesy by NBC New York

Red Cup Rebellion and Brewing Dissent

The Red Cup day walkout isn’t just a symbolic protest; it’s a loud cry for attention. The union calls on baristas and supervisors from all Starbucks stores to join the protest on November 16. The timing is no coincidence, strategically placed in the heart of the holiday season, when Starbucks is buzzing with festive promotions and high customer traffic.

We are aware that Workers United has publicized a day of action at a small subset of our U.S. stores next week… Workers United hasn’t agreed to meet to progress contract bargaining in more than four months and has yet to deliver on the campaign promises they’ve made,” Starbucks responded in a statement to Reuters. 

It seems like the brewing tension isn’t limited to understaffing but extends to unresolved contractual issues.

A Clash of Beans: Workers United vs. Starbucks

This clash between Workers United and Starbucks sheds light on the age-old struggle between the corporate giant and its frontline warriors. While Starbucks portrays the union’s actions as mere publicity stunts, Workers United sees it as a battle for the rights and dignity of the baristas who bring the coffee giant to life.

In a way, it’s a narrative of David versus Goliath, where the Workers United union fights for the rights of the underappreciated baristas, urging them to step out of the coffee-scented shadows and into the spotlight of workers’ rights.


As the aroma of freshly brewed coffee mingles with the tension in the air, it’s evident that Red Cup day won’t be business as usual for Starbucks this year. The Workers United union, armed with the strength of its members, is staging a rebellion against the alleged injustices faced by Starbucks employees.

Whether this walkout will bring about substantial change or become a mere blip in the coffee shop’s bustling holiday season remains uncertain.

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