Regulars at Starbucks love Red Cup Day. The company chooses a day once a year to distribute reusable “Red Cups” with holiday themes. It is only available with the purchase of a handmade beverage and only while supplies last. Red Cup Day this year, however, was different for both consumers and staff at numerous sites.
Over 100 Starbucks locations had staff leave in protest of the company’s opposition to unionization. The walkout, which had some workers working longer shifts and others shorter ones, undoubtedly left its imprint.
BREAKING: Fast food workers are on strike in Los Angeles.— Fight for $15 LA (@Fightfor15LA) November 15, 2022
We're marching on @starbucks before launching a caravan and converging on corporate HQs across Orange County.
Time for global fast food corporations to stop trying to silence workers and support democracy. #AB257 pic.twitter.com/di9q2CikR7
According to Starbucks Workers United, the organization behind the walkouts, employees in 25 states demand higher compensation, greater assistance in crowded stores, and consistent scheduling.
Although only 100 of the company’s 9,000 facilities were involved in the project, it garnered a lot of media attention. Just three miles from Starbucks’ corporate headquarters, management worked the counter in a store in Seattle as baristas fought for improved working conditions outside.
The stress of understaffing affects Silvia Baldwin, a 26-year-old barista from Philadelphia, who loves her job. According to the Associated Press, she declared that it was “difficult to ignore” the walkout on what many consider to be the company’s busiest day.