SEATTLE – Councilmember Kshama Sawant (District 3, Central Seattle), chair of the Sustainability and Renters’ Rights Committee, attended the union election meeting with Starbucks workers at the Broadway & Denny store, in Seattle’s District 3. Sawant released the following statement on their unanimous vote to form a union:
“Congratulations to Starbucks workers in Seattle, organized as Seattle Starbucks Workers United, who just voted unanimously to become the 7th unionized Starbucks in the country and the first on the west coast!
“Starbucks workers at more than 150 stores around the country have filed for union elections, demanding decent pay and working conditions from this multi-billion-dollar corporation, which is headquartered here in Seattle. Starbucks executives have responded by carrying out a vicious anti-union campaign, including retaliatory firing of workers without cause and dramatically cutting employee hours.
“I will be joining Seattle Starbucks Workers United at Cal Anderson Park on Saturday, April 23rd at 1:00pm at a public rally we are organizing to demand an end to Starbucks’ union busting. Starbucks workers, union members, community organizers from my Council office, and my political organization, Socialist Alternative, will be talking to working people across Seattle over the next month to spread the word about this important rally. We welcome all who can join us in mobilizing the community to support Starbucks workers!
“Seattle Starbucks workers are demanding the company end union busting, establish a starting wage of $20/hour, allow debit card tips, and provide free and improved healthcare, among other demands.
“Last year, the world’s billionaires became $5 trillion richer, while workers struggled to keep COVID at bay, pay rent, and put food on the table. Workers are realizing that to defend ourselves, and to win even the most basic rights, all of us need a union.
“We must build on the momentum of today’s union victory in Seattle to fight back against Starbucks’ union-busting and broaden the union struggle. If workers and the labor movement don’t fight to stop Starbucks’ union-busting and reverse their retaliatory firings, the company will be emboldened to escalate its campaign of intimidation and retaliation.
“I urge workers and union members to email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to volunteer to build for the April 23rd rally.
“And I urge the labor movement and all working people to join us on April 23rd at 1:00pm in Cal Anderson Park and send a powerful message to Starbucks: An Injury to One Is an Injury to All!”