SEATTLE - On Friday, the first unionized Starbucks workers in Seattle from Broadway and Denny are on strike to protest the treatment of their coworkers at stores within the new "Heritage District."
The workers at the First Store at Pike Place Market, 1st and University and 1st and Pike were given less than a week’s notice to interview for their own jobs. The Starbucks union says this task is both insulting and impractical.
More than 20 workers so far have been informed that they did not qualify for the jobs they have been doing, in some cases, for years. Each of these workers is now faced with the choice of transferring to another store or quitting their job entirely.
"The timing of it relative to the 1st and Pike strike is undeniable retaliation, and blatantly illegal," said a worker, choosing to remain anonymous out of fear of retaliation. "Moreover, almost no one at 1st and Pike was allowed to remain, despite there being reportedly over 40 positions that needed filling. This speaks to deliberate union-busting."
The workers at Broadway and Denny are striking to send a message to corporate that this tactic is unacceptable. The strike is also an act of solidarity with the teams at other stores.
"At this point, I don’t see how anyone can deny that Starbucks is trying to punish workers for attempting to organize," said another anonymous worker. "These stores won’t work like any others, there won’t be specific teams that can bond together. They’re taking away one of the most fulfilling things about food service, just to shut us up."
Striking workers are picketing outside their store at 101 Broadway E starting at 7 a.m. on Friday.