Starbucks Corporation SBUX employees from over 100 stores went on strike on Thursday to protest what they believe is illegal retaliation against their union organizing, reported Reuters. The workers said they are underpaid and don't have consistent schedules.
The news of the strike, however, did not affect the share price of the company. Starbucks shares closed Thursday’s trading session on a flat note and are up over 9% in the last month.
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What Happened: The strike was conducted on what is known as Red Cup Day when Starbucks hands out limited-edition holiday reusable cups.
These cups are well-liked by customers who are known to line up since early morning to get their hands on them. The day is also one of the company’s most profitable days during the year. For example, on Red Cup Day in November 2021, visits to U.S. Starbucks stores jumped 87% over the daily average for the full year, reported Reuters citing exclusive data from location analytics firm Placer.ai.
Why It Matters: Barista Aaron Cirillo was quoted as saying, “They're working us to the bone because we're so understaffed." Cirillo makes $17.05 an hour and has worked at the store for over a year, the report said. According to him, his store petitioned to unionize last month and is slated to vote on Dec. 8.
While Cirillo initially did not want to unionize out of fear of retaliation, he became angry after waiting in vain for Starbucks to raise benefits and fix equipment in the store, the report said.
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