Starbucks Cancels Pride? LGBTQ+ Flags Spark Union Clash

Starbucks, the famous coffee chain, is facing its biggest national strike because the baristas' union says the company took Pride flags and decorations out of its stores. The union called for the strike, which is likely to involve more than 3,000 people at more than 150 Starbucks locations across the U.S. Sunday, there was a big protest by workers at the place near the city's Pride parade. On Sunday, picket lines were set up in dozens of Starbucks stores across the U.S., and some customers refused to cross the lines. In a statement, the company denied the claims and said that it will always back the LGBTQIA2+ community.

But videos on social media show Pride flags and decorations being taken down from shops, which goes against what Starbucks said. Starbucks sent a message to Lynne Fox, the president of Workers United International, in which they denied the claims that they took down Pride decorations and called them "blatant fear-mongering." Starbucks sent out a memo on the same day to clear up "misinformation." It said that "local leaders" have the freedom to "find ways to authentically celebrate all year long." But it seems like the workers aren't happy with this answer, as pro-unionist outlets say that the choice not to decorate stores was made by "higher-ups."

In the past year, Starbucks has been accused of several things. The workers' union said that the company had threatened union organizers, including many queer or transgender people, with fewer scheduled hours, which would make it impossible for them to get health insurance that covers gender reassignment surgery and other related procedures. Starbucks flatly denied these claims, calling them "false claims." But Starbucks hasn't reached a contract with any of the newly unionized cafes in the U.S. yet, even though talks are still going on with more than 300 of them.

But after the recent allegations, the image Starbucks has built for itself as a socially progressive company is under a lot of scrutiny.

The workers' union is leading strikes to bring attention to the problems that Starbucks employees still have to deal with, even though the company acts like it is open and modern. Employees like Jackie Zhou and Sam Cornetta are showing how the company's claims of being modern and welcoming in the face of union organizing are more of a show. Brittany Sheehan, a community leader from Las Vegas, has been a strong supporter of the workers' cause and has done a lot to bring attention to what the workers want. Starbucks needs to take care of the problems that its workers have been having for a long time.

Written by Staff Reports

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