DENVER — Dozens of Starbucks employees walked out of one of the coffee giant’s Denver locations Friday morning to in strike of what they call unfair labor practices.
According to Workers United, the union representing Starbucks employees, two union organizers at the Starbucks located at 2975 E. Colfax Ave. say they’ve recently received “‘final disciplinary warnings’ in retaliation for supporting unionization.” Formal charges have been filed against Starbucks with the NLRB regarding the situation.
Michaela Sellaro, a shift supervisor at the cafe and member of the organizing committee, said employees were striking Friday to bring attention to what she called Starbucks’ “retaliatory and intimidating actions,” like cutting hours, schooling and insurance.
Sellaro said all of the employees working on the floor at the Colfax Avenue Starbucks Friday morning walked out in support.
“I would like to see them stop union busting. I'd like to see them support partners when they ask for a better workplace. This is our right, and we're here and we want it. So, stop messing with us,” she said at the strike.
Sellaro said the organizing committee had a hearing with the National Labor Relations Board on Feb. 16 regarding a petition to form a union, and they’re waiting to hear if they will be getting an election date to vote to unionize.
In recent months, the efforts for Starbucks employees to form unions have grown. In December, Starbucks employees in Buffalo, New York, became the first in the company to successfully unionize.
A spokesperson for Starbucks told Denver7 the employees who participated in the strike "violated clear safety and security protocol and received a warning."
"They are both still employed. They received a warning on separate event," the spokesperson, who declined to give their name, said.