AUSTIN, Texas — The first unionized Starbucks location in Texas is participating in a nationwide strike on Thursday and Friday.
Workers at the Starbucks location on 45th Street and Lamar Boulevard in Austin are asking community members to not cross the picket line from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days, saying the company has refused to improve working conditions.
The strike coincides with Starbucks' Red Cup Day, when the coffee giant distributes a free red holiday cup to customers that order any of their holiday drinks. The Austin location called the strike the "Red Cup Rebellion" in an Instagram post made Thursday.
The strike is for all Starbucks workers that are pushing for better pay, more consistent schedules and more staffing within the busier stores in response to "Starbucks' refusal to bargain in good faith," the Austin store said on Instagram.
The "Red Cup Rebellion" comes almost five months after the location became the first Starbucks in Texas to unionize. There are other unionized Starbucks stores in Austin, including the West Campus location at 504 West 24th Street, but the location on 45th and Lamar is the only one participating in the strike.
Outside of Austin, two other locations in Texas are participating. One is in San Antonio, located at Houston and St. Mary's streets. The other is in Houston, located at Shepherd Drive and Harold Street. In totality, Texas has 1,314 Starbucks locations, but only a few are unionized.
Click here for a map of all the Starbucks locations across the U.S. participating in the strike.
Starbucks released the following statement about the "Red Cup Rebellion" strike:
"Each year, our partners and our customers look forward to Red Cup Day as an opportunity to celebrate the holiday season while creating moments of joy with one another over handcrafted coffee.
"We are aware that union demonstrations are scheduled at a small number of our U.S. company-owned stores. In those locations where partners choose to participate, we respect their right to engage in lawful protest activity – though our focus has been, and continues to be, on uplifting the Starbucks experience for our partners and customers.
"We remain committed to all partners and will continue to work together, side-by-side, to make Starbucks a company that works for everyone. In those stores where partners have elected union-representation, we have been willing and continue to urge the union to meet us at the bargaining table to move the process forward in good faith."
Starbucks also said that "counter to what the union has shared," it has "continued to engage Workers United representatives in a good faith effort to move the bargaining process forward." As a result, the company said it has shown up to more than 50 bargaining sessions across the country, with another 60 scheduled in the coming weeks.
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