FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Workers at the Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Wedington Drive Starbucks locations in Fayetteville will go on strike on Friday, December 16 through Monday, December 19.
According to a press release from Starbucks Workers United NWA, they are joining a national strike across the country in response to Starbucks closing multiple unionized locations and failing to bargain with the remaining unionized stores. Last month, the Wedington store became the first unionized Starbucks in the state and two weeks ago, the location on MLK announced its intention to unionize.
In the press release, Kendra Gilman, a shift supervisor at the MLK location, said Starbucks had failed to listen to concerns at unionized stores for over a year.
“We’re striking because we want our voices to be heard and to be taken seriously. It’s blatant that Starbucks corporate is out of touch with the workers it claims to so emphatically support, which is one of the biggest proponents of our activism. We are to be taken seriously. We are going to be heard. We will not be silenced, and we stand together.”Aidan Brennan, a barista at the MLK Jr. location.
When asked to comment on the strike, a spokesperson for Starbucks released the following statement:
We respect our partners’ right to engage in lawful protest activity. Our focus remains on all partners and our commitment to continue to work together, side-by-side, to make Starbucks a company that works for everyone. With our partners in mind, we will continue to show up and be ready to bargain in good faith and have urged Workers United to do the same.
Our customers have been rewarding baristas with cash tips and through the Starbucks mobile app for years, and we’re delighted that new technology and devices in our stores have recently allowed us to launch a new tipping option on credit and debit card transactions. Changes required to implement this new reward channel may modify the terms and conditions of employment for partners, so we’re obligated by law to bring it to the bargaining table before launching it in union represented stores. We know our partners and customers are both excited to take advantage of the new payment card tipping option, which is one of many reasons we continue to urge the union to meet us in-person and in good faith to progress contract bargaining for our partners.Starbucks media relations statement, December 16
Baristas will be picketing from 5:00 to 11:00 a.m. on Friday, December 16 at the MLK location, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 17 at the Wedington location, and again from noon to 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, December 18 at the MLK Jr. location.