Lincoln Starbucks workers striking for better staffing and union negotiations
LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Starbucks baristas across the country including Lincoln went on strike Thursday as part of an ongoing effort to unionize the company’s stores.
The Workers United union chose Starbucks’ annual Red Cup Day to stage the walkout since it’s usually one of the busiest days of the year. Starbucks expects to give away thousands of reusable cups Thursday to customers who order holiday drinks.
Employees from the North 27th Street and Kensington store participated in the one-day strike known as the Red Cup Rebellion.
The Workers United union alleges that the company has been unwilling to engage in fair negotiations at stores where employees have voted to organize.
“A contract is a worker’s best protection. Right now, when you’re not part of a union, they can fire you at will, you have no protections, no solidarity with your co-workers,” said August Adams, Starbucks barista trainer. “The contract is how we get better wages, better working conditions, better benefits and it’s how we protect ourselves.”
The walkout affected multiple Lincoln locations, but the North 27th Street and Kensington store is the only one that was completely shut down. The store is set to reopen Friday morning.
Despite the ongoing efforts, the union has only achieved victories in elections at over 350 stores. However, none of these locations have reached a collective bargaining agreement with the company.