Workers at the Maple Street Starbucks took to the picket line last week for a one-day strike over stalled contract negotiations. When the Maple Street shop unionized in early June, it was part of a meteoric increase in unionized Starbucks across the U.S. After the first store unionized in Buffalo, New York, less than two years ago, 287 stores have successfully held union elections, while another 91 have held elections where the union did not garner enough votes to win.
The striking Maple Street workers said Starbucks has refused to bargain with the union to establish a contract, which is why they decided to go on the one-day strike. They also said they want full staffing at the coffee shop.
“We want to be met at the bargaining table and we want Starbucks to stop cutting labor,” one striker said. “We don’t have enough staff to keep up with growing demand at the store.”
As the workers and supporters gathered for the picket line on the sultry Wednesday morning (March 22), cars driving by honked their support. One friend of the organizers passed out bottled water and cups of vegetable soup.
Rowan Bienes-Allen, sat by the storefront door with a laptop and a sign saying “Ask me about the strike.” So I did. As we spoke, she was asked to move by a manager wearing a Black history month shirt.