[R-G] Starbucks Obstructing First US Union Vote
menecraj at shaw.ca
Sun Jun 6 17:21:08 MDT 2004
Subject: [Alerts] Starbucks Obstructing First US Union Vote
Date: Tue, 1 Jun 2004 11:19:15 -0700 (PDT)
For Immediate Release: Industrial Workers of the World
June 1, 2004
Contact: Daniel Gross
(917) 577-1110 dgross1959 at yahoo.com
Starbucks Obstructing First US Union Vote
Workers to Schultz: What are you so scared of?
New York, NY- The Starbucks Baristas Union and community
members across the country have condemned repeated attempts
by the company to deny workers a fair vote on the Union.
While paying lip-service to respecting the choice of employees,
Starbucks has deployed a variety of crude tactics in an effort to
defeat the IWW IU/660, which would be the first union certified
in the United States at the mammoth chain.
Supporters around the country and internationally are contacting
Starbucks demanding they live up to their rhetoric. If Starbucks
really is a bastion of worker benefits, what is Chairman Howard
Schultz, who raked in over $17 million last year, so scared of?
The truth is Starbucks, with its poverty wages and rampant
repetitive-stress dangers, resembles a sweatshop more than it
does a decent place to work.
The IWW released today the text they obtained of a voice mail
Howard Schultz sent to employees around the company
regarding the Union which Schultz calls, "very disappointing and
"What we have here is classic union busting plain and simple,"
said Benjamin Ferguson, an IWW member working on the
campaign. "They are using the same down and dirty tricks we
see time and time again from highly successful corporations
unwilling to give their workers a fair shake.
One the legal front, Starbucks has hired corporate law firm
Akin Gump to argue that the workers in the store aren't entitled
to a vote. Mr. Shultz is fond of saying the Starbucks Mission
Statement requires respect and dignity for employees but
apparently that does not include exercising the right to form a
union. The IWW will face off with Starbucks on June 2 at a
formal hearing at the National Labor Relations Board.
"Single stores within retail chains have long been presumed
appropriate bargaining units," said Stuart Lichten of Kennedy,
Schwartz, and Cure, the firm representing the Union. "We are
confident we will prevail on the merits.
The company is also using scare tactics to intimidate workers.
Management has been interrogating certain workers about the
union while spreading misinformation about joining. At the same
time, senior executives are in and out of the store constantly
making sure workers feel the heat.
Starbucks earned a record $268 million last year on revenues of
more than $4 billion. The company admits that Baristas add
tremendous value to the enterprise yet refuses to pay them a
wage that would bring them out of poverty.
Starbucks workers in New York City announced last month that
they had formed a union with the IWW IU/660. The IWW is a
union for all workers, dedicated to organizing on the job and in
the community. IU/660 represents retail workers.
Text of Voicemail Sent by Howard Schultz, Wednesday
Hello partners, this is Howard Schultz with a message for all of you.
I wanted to take a moment and reach out to you regarding
information that the company recently received. A local union in
New York claims that some of our partners at the 36th and Madison
location in New York City have expressed an interest in being
represented by them.
While I recognize that this is related to only one store, this news is
very disappointing and disturbing. Over the last 25 years, we have
worked together to build a great company based on our core values
and as a result have built great trust in one another. We always strive
to live by our mission statement and guiding principles. And when
we wrote the guiding principles, we very deliberately put creating a
great work environment and treating everyone with dignity and
respect as our highest priority.
Back in the earliest days of Starbucks, we did what others said could
not be done - together we built a profitable company while integrating
a social conscience into everything we do. We began offering
comprehensive health care coverage and ownership in the company in
the form of Bean Stock to full- and part-time partners. Those
decisions were landmark events in our company history and our
compassion for one another truly differentiates us. We have
succeeded beyond everyone's wildest expectations. Today, we
employ more than 80,000 partners around the world. And our
commitment to our core values is as strong today as it was in those
very early days of our company.
Because of the way we work together, we receive many accolades
from the outside world for what we do we're on the Fortune 100 Best
Places to work list, the Most Admired Companies list, and much more.
That recognition is great, but what's more important is that we have a
caring and supportive culture. So please, if you ever have any concerns
about our company, reach out to your local leadership, write to
Mission Review, or use any of the many means we have to discuss and
resolve issues and create a comfortable culture for everyone.
I want to conclude by simply thanking you for everything you do each
day, and for being the real heart and soul of Starbucks.
More information about the Rad-Green