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Starbucks Employees to Strike Nationwide After Pride Decoration Controversy

Starbucks Employees to Strike Nationwide After Pride Decoration Controversy

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More than 3,500 workers across 150 Starbucks locations will take part in the strike.

Starbucks employees across the U.S. are set to strike over the course of the next week following allegations that Starbucks banned Pride decorations in stores during Pride Month.

The Starbucks Workers United union announced the strike in a tweet beginning "STRIKE WITH PRIDE!" and cited Starbucks' "hypocritical treatment of LGBTQIA+ workers" as the catalyst.

The group says 3,500 workers from more than 150 stores will join in the strike, which is being spearheaded by the chain's Seattle Roastery location.

The controversy began this month when the same group alleged that the coffee giant was no longer allowing Pride decorations in store. Several videos of Pride decor being taken down at Starbucks locations went viral on social media.

Starbucks called the reports "false information." "There has been no change to any policy on this matter, and we continue to encourage our store leaders to celebrate with their communities including for U.S. Pride month in June,” a spokesperson said.

In a follow-up post, Starbucks Workers United provided a strike letter sent from the Seattle Roastery location to Starbucks leadership. "We are taking collective action in response to the company's unlawful decision to unilaterally alter or terminate store Pride decoration policies without negotiating with our union," the letter reads.

In a statement to The Washington Post, Starbucks spokeswoman Rachel Wall reiterated the company's claim that the alleged Pride decor ban is false information and called the strike a "tactic used to seemingly divide our partners."

The letter also notes that the chain does not formally recognize the Pike Street Roastery as a certified union shop. Employees at more than 300 Starbucks locations across the U.S. have voted to unionize in the last two years, but efforts are ongoing.

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