Starbucks workers are protesting Red Cup Day

It’s Red Cup Day at Starbucks! You know what that means: Starbucks is handing out limited-edition holiday reusable cups to folks willing to cross the picket line.

On Thursday (Nov. 17), more than 1,000 Starbucks employees — many of whom are members of the Starbucks Workers Union — went on strike on one of the coffee giant’s busiest days of the year, according to NPR. It’s a joyous day for Starbucks loyal customers, because the cups are considered collector’s items; some customers line up before the store even opens to get one. But, this year, if you do decide to get your hands on one of those cups, you’ll also be crossing a picket line. If you want to know if your Starbucks location is participating in the strike, you can check out the map created by the Starbucks Workers United, the union representing Starbucks workers.


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Crossing a picket line means moving through people who are striking in order to get onto their employer’s land. That includes walking through a building, across a parking lot, or, in this case, into a Starbucks to buy your morning coffee. More than 100 Starbucks stores across the nation have staged picket lines today, according to Starbucks Workers United.

The walkout is one of the most recent attempts to convince Starbucks to bargain with workers in good faith as they try to work out contracts. Starbucks lawyers have walked out on bargaining sessions, made last-minute rescheduling requests, and CEO Howard Shultz has been accused of illegally union busting and firing workers for organizing.

“Mr. Schultz, it is time to recognize the stores that unionized and negotiate with workers in good faith,” Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted in support of the #RedCupRebellion.


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If you do want a red cup, and don’t want to cross a picket line, there’s good news! Starbucks Workers United is offering a union-designed red cup with the Starbucks Workers United logo on the front, according to CNBC.

Mashable