Strike Report: 1st and Pike is ON STRIKE! 6/18

4.9 minute read

Starbucks workers went on strike on Saturday, the 18th, to fight back against Howard Schultz and Starbucks corporate’s blatant union busting.

Seattle DSA members joined Starbucks workers, members of SEIU, UAW 4121, and SEA, a former worker from the Starbucks Roastery unionization effort, as well as Democratic Socialist congressional candidate Stephanie Gallardo at the First and Pike store near Pike Place Market on June 18th, 2022. Howard Schultz and Starbucks Bosses are trying to designate the 1st and Pike workers’ store, as well as stores at Pike Place and 1st & University as “Heritage” stores. Under this designation, workers at the stores would have to reapply for their own jobs, and jobs at the Heritage store would receive increased pay. Many workers at these stores are 17 or 18, so it is actually impossible for them to have the required 2 years customer service or 1 year barista experience required for the “Heritage” stores. These workers have all been effectively fired.

This is a blatant attempt by Starbucks corporate and Howard Schultz to break worker solidarity by trying to split workers into multiple “tiers”. As well, it is obvious that they are trying to fire existing union organizers. We are inspired by the Starbucks workers at 1st and Pike who realized this union-busting tactic, and we showed up in solidarity to support the strike. We brought a table, megaphones, snacks, water, as well as Starbucks solidarity posters and flyers to assist in keeping everyone’s spirits up.

Workers showed a lot of enthusiasm, and led chants of “Get Up, Get Down, Seattle is a Union Town!”, “FIRST AND PIKE IS ON STRIKE!”, and more. Starbucks workers were also eager to engage with community members, collecting signatures and distributing flyers alongside DSA members. In total, we collected 200 signatures for our Starbucks Solidarity pledge, and raised over $1500 fundraising for the PNW Starbucks Workers United relief fund throughout the day. 

Workers were really happy about all the community support, especially since this was on a weekend when many labor activists were at the Labor Notes conference!

More than 160 Starbucks stores in the US are now unionized. This movement is not slowing down anytime soon! We need to continue to maintain a relationship with 1st and Pike workers and have their backs. At the same time, we need to keep up our solidarity efforts with  Starbucks workers across the region as they fight for a contract. You can do that by showing up to the next Starbucks strike action – more information on that soon!

Ways to extend your solidarity