Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Starbucks Union - Interesting

I was listening to Air America's Morning Sedition today and heard about the Starbuck's Union. Evidently Starbucks has some shady work practices that I was not aware of and the two people on the air spoke about them. Some of them were things that could be expected from a large chain (limited part time hours, hard to get health care) but some of them weren't (common injuries from repetitive tasks, cuts, bruises, burns).
Being from the Motorcity (Detroit for all of you outside the Midwest) I have a pretty strong pro union view. I remember my mom not wanting to cross the picket lines at the local Kroger, even though she really wanted to, back when I was a kid. I remember the autoworkers strikes growing up. I even remember when school almost didn't start on time because the teachers unions were striking. I feel Unions do a lot of good work standing up for their fellow employees and I think the current industrial/commercial business climate is really eating away at the "little gut matters" mentality of union ideals.
I thought it was interesting enough to post some of their info up on the blog. So, if you've got some time check out http://www.starbucksunion.org/
Below is a little bit about them from their "About" page:
The Starbucks Workers Union is part of IU 660 - the retail worker's division of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). The Starbucks Workers Union is driven by solidarity unionism, an innovative and powerful 21st century approach to improve our life at work.

Solidarity unionism means:

· Any Starbucks worker can join the Union at anytime

· We build strength by supporting each other with direct action

· Joining the Union is affordable, only $6/month which includes a free
subscription to the Industrial Worker newspaper

By becoming a member of the Starbucks Workers Union, you gain:

· Immediate access to co-workers around the country to protect you at work

· The privileges of an organization that has already won wages increases and a
Christmas bonus for workers around the country

· A role in the movement of retail workers at major corporations organizing for a
strong voice on the job

The more workers who join the Union, the more power we have on the job to win a living wage and guaranteed hours. If you choose, once you join you can be provided the tools necessary to talk to your co-workers about joining the Union. Deciding if you’d like to explain the Union to others is completely up to you. Involving others in the Union is both fun and challenging. The Union is our organization: created by Starbucks workers for Starbucks workers. Ready to join? http://www.starbucksunion.org/about/organize/how


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