30 June 2008

Global Day of Action Against Starbucks

For Immediate Release:

IWW Starbucks Workers Union, StarbucksUnion.org

Global Day of Action Will Protest Starbucks¢ Anti-Union Terminations

Coordinated Actions Across the U.S., Europe, and Latin America Could Be Largest Ever Against Coffee Chain

Grand Rapids , MI ( 06-30-2008 )- Union members and social activists are gearing up for what may be the largest, global coordinated action against Starbucks ever. Protesters will decry what they see as an epidemic of anti-union terminations by the world¢s largest coffee chain. Starbucks and its CEO Howard Schultz have exhibited a pattern of firing outspoken union baristas ever since the advent of the IWW Starbucks Workers Union in 2004 and are demonstrating the same practice against the CNT union in Spain.

"On July 5th people around the world will show Starbucks that we, baristas along with our supporters, will have a voice and Starbucks discrimination and repression of our efforts will not go un-checked", said Cole Dorsey.

The IWW and CNT have called for the day of action in response to two recent anti-union terminations. On April 24, Starbucks fired Monica in Sevilla , Spain , for her activity on behalf of the CNT union. She asked to be identified by only her first name to avoid future employment discrimination. On June 6, Starbucks fired 2 year barista Cole Dorsey in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for his activity on behalf of the Industrial Workers of the World union. These firings come in the midst of Unfair Labor Practice charges being investigated by the NLRB against Starbucks in Grand Rapids, including whether Starbucks violated a previous Labor Board settlement there, and deliberations by a judge on the anti-union terminations of three IWW baristas in New York City.

The firing of Monica, in Spain , made clear that Starbucks union-busting policies were not specific to the US, but were decided by the top echelons of the corporation in Seattle . The Confederacion Nacional de Trabajadores ( CNT ) quickly responded in Spain with local pressure to reinstate their member.

Due to Starbucks globalized response to union activists, the Starbucks Union (IWW) and the Sevilla CNT vowed to join struggles for the reinstatement of their members. As a consequence of that declaration, July 5th was called for a Global Day of Action Against Starbucks Repression. In a show of solidarity, Cole and Monica vowed not to return until both were reinstated.

Actions against Starbucks will take place in: Argentina, Chile, the British Isles, Italy, Japan, Norway, Serbia, Poland, Slovakia, 4 cities in Spain, 6 cities in Germany. In the US: Phoenix, Philadelphia, Grand Rapids, Boston, Chicago, New York City, Los Angeles .

The IWW Starbucks Workers Union is a grassroots organization of employees at the world's largest coffee chain united for better pay, stable work schedules, safer working conditions, and easier access to more affordable health care. The union has members throughout the United States fighting for systemic change at the company and remedying individual grievances with management.

Grand Rapids Protest begins at 4pm at the Starbucks located at 2757 East Beltline
Grand Rapids, MI 49546

18 June 2008

Next IWW Meeting

The next meeting of the IWW Vancouver will be on Wednesday, June 18, 7 PM at the new location of Spartacus Books, 684 E. Hastings. All are welcome to attend.

My apologies for the short notice on this one, folks.

12 June 2008

Union Busting in Poland

A message from trade unionist Laure Akai in Poland on the situation within the country:

"Hello. I'm a member of a Polish union (KFP) and a political group called ZSP. Attached please find an article about a case which is underway in Poland... Thank you very much for your consideration.

One Corporation's Public Secrets: Lionbridge Case to be Closely Observed

In January I published an article entitled "Lionbridge, the Globalization of Low Wages" on the internet. Lionbridge is the largest corporation in the globalization industry, which, among other things, translates and localizes software for giants such as Microsoft, Google and Adobe, provides Microsoft hotline services and even, controversially, provides interpreters to the Irish courts. As the company is not a household name, the article did not, at first, generate any real interest and probably would have gone unnoticed had people from that company not read it and had it not lead to the firing of a unionist in their Polish office."

Read more: Link to Full Story