Starbucks union offers organizers a financial safety net
Starbucks employees and outside advocates for their organizing campaign have created a fund to support baristas who are losing income due to their organizing efforts.
The money is specifically intended to help workers who may be laid off, laid off due to shutdowns or whose hours have been reduced in retaliation for demanding union representation. The funds will be distributed starting this fall under the direction of a committee made up of Starbucks workers. This administrative group will set the criteria in the coming weeks, according to Starbucks Workers United (SWU), the group that now represents staff at 200 Starbucks units.
The SWU accused Starbucks of firing 50 employees because of their support for unionization. Additionally, he accused the company of putting dozens more out of work by closing their stores rather than allowing them to operate as union stores.
Starbucks maintained that he did not engage in union busting or violate federal regulations governing the process of unionization.
The Starbucks workers’ fund will be replenished by contributions from employees and the general public, according to the SWU.
He noted that support will also come from the Colleagues Solidarity Fund, a group that provides financial assistance to union organizers across multiple sectors. SWU did not disclose whether that support would be financial, administrative, or both.
Having a resource like the Starbucks Workers’ Fund is meant to provide security for baristas who fear their income will plummet if they oppose the company by pushing for union representation.
The support pool is separate from a million-dollar strike fund that was formed in late spring by Workers United, SWU’s parent company and a subsidiary of Service Employees International Union, the second-largest union. from the country. This pot is reserved to provide baristas with a stable income should they go on strike. It is intended to provide workers with leverage when negotiating new employment contracts with Starbucks through SWU.
Contract negotiations are currently underway in Buffalo, NY, where the coffee chain’s organizing campaign began last August. Two units voted to form SWU’s first chapters in December.
The organizing effort has now turned 200 Starbucks units into union stores, and dozens more are waiting to hold a staff vote to be represented by SWU.
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