Starbucks Now Taking Heat at Colleges

Students at 25 schools to protest union-busting effort on 'Starbucks gets an F' Thursday
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 21, 2024 2:05 PM CST
Starbucks Now Taking Heat at Colleges
Advocates for a union for Starbucks employees watch as company founder Howard Schultz leaves a hearing after testifying to the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee at the Capitol in Washington on March 29, 2023.   (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite, File)

The latest place Starbucks is taking worker-related heat is on 25 of America's college campuses, where the Guardian reports that students, faculty, and workers are mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. They're planning "Starbucks gets an F" rallies Thursday and are urging their institutions to sever ties with the coffee giant over its anti-union stance. "We're seeing many universities across the country also taking a stand against Starbucks, and now many people are realizing that this company isn't as progressive as it claims, and that we have a real voice in how these companies treat their workers and it's our responsibility to take a stand," says UCLA student organizer David Ramirez.

The movement is gaining steam: After a student revolt over the treatment of baristas, Cornell University announced that it would terminate its deal with Starbucks no later than 2025, reports the Cornell Daily Sun. UCLA and UC Riverside students last month petitioned their schools to cut ties with Starbucks until it ceases its alleged union-busting efforts, reports the LA Daily News. Other affected universities in Thursday's action include Georgetown, New York University, Rutgers, the University of Chicago, the University of South Florida, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

"We are college students," says former barista Haya Odeh, who led union organizing efforts in North Carolina, only to see Starbucks deny her transfer request when she started school at UNC Chapel Hill. "We are the next generation of workers and consumers. We're just not going to let Starbucks slide with the injustices they pass on to workers. Their union busting is just the very tip of the iceberg." (More Starbucks stories.)

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