So it seems my accusation about Starbucks being anti-trade union is apparently groundless. In May 2004, an organization called the Starbucks Workers Union was formed in New York. The union now includes Latin American workers and has successfully advocated for better conditions and for the purchase of Fair Trade coffee.
I am not convinced that Starbucks has laid down a red carpet for a trade union and there probably has been threats with at least one firing of a worker who was trying to organize. In fairness this barista, Erik Foreman, was reinstated to his job.
More about the Union’s actions can be found here, And I guess we can keep enjoying Starbucks.
Though if you do live in the Bay Area, here are some great independent coffee shops. Please check them out.
Alon Shalev is the author of The Accidental Activist (now available on Kindle) and A Gardener’s Tale. He is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Hillel Foundation, a non-profit that provides spiritual and social justice opportunities to Jewish students in the Bay Area. More on Alon Shalev at http://www.alonshalev.com/