Starbucks Workers To Strike On ‘Red Cup’ Day

Workers at more than 100 unionized Starbucks locations in the U.S. plan to strike today (November 17) during one of the coffee chain’s biggest sales events of the year.

Known as “Red Cup” day, Starbucks today will give away reusable red cups bearing the company’s logo with any purchase to celebrate the Christmas holidays.

The annual giveaway has become a popular event for collectors, and this year marks its 25th anniversary.

However, union organizers at 113 Starbucks locations are planning to protest and distribute a version of the red cup featuring the Grinch’s hand holding an ornament with the logo of the Starbucks union.

It’s the largest union action that Starbucks Workers United have taken so far in its push to organize a growing number of retail coffee outlets.

The union said the strike is meant to call attention to the company’s refusal to negotiate contracts with workers.

Over the last year, 260 company-owned Starbucks locations have voted to unionize under Workers United, an affiliate of Service Employees International Union. That’s a small fraction of the chain’s nearly 9,000 outlets in the U.S.

In late September, Starbucks sent letters to more than 200 unionized locations saying that it was ready to start contract talks. But Starbucks Workers United claims the company hasn’t been bargaining in good faith.

Starbucks’ stock is down 17% this year at $97.07 U.S. per share.