Updated 10/18/2023 at 1:25 p.m. PST
On October 18, Starbucks filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa in Davenport, Iowa.
Today, Starbucks filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Iowa in Davenport, Iowa.
As the violence against the innocent in the region continues, some people are mistakenly tying these remarks to us, because Workers United and its affiliates and members continue to use our name, logo and intellectual property.
The actions taken by the union have nothing to do with its representation of the minority of partners who voted for them to bargain on their behalf. In fact, their continued statements have led to Starbucks partners, including some they represent, being threatened and subjected to graphic messages.
Such reckless and reprehensible behavior must be addressed through the lens of our partners' safety and public clarity of Starbucks official position, which condemns the violence in the region. This position is apart from our continued commitment to good faith bargaining that we have insisted through hundreds of requests and unfair labor practice filings.
Workers United President Lynne Fox rejected our request to take steps to ensure clarity and protect our partners. So, today’s action is a necessary step in defense of our partners and our company.
This action will not impede our unequivocal commitment to bargain in good faith.
Updated 10/17/2023 at 12:30 p.m. PST
Partner Message from Sara Kelly: Affirming Starbucks Position and Addressing Statements from Workers United
I hope each of you are finding ways to take care of yourselves and your loved ones in this heavy time. In addition to the heartache we are all feeling during this moment, Iike many of you, I am also deeply troubled by the spread of misinformation and inflammatory headlines stemming from images used and statements made last week by Workers United.
Shortly after October 7, Workers United posted a statement with an image of a bulldozer tearing down a part of the Israel and Gaza border, reflecting their support for violence perpetrated by Hamas. Unfortunately, as violence against the innocent in the region continues to escalate, some people are mistakenly tying these remarks to us, because Workers United and its affiliates and members continue to use our name, logo and intellectual property. Starbucks unequivocally condemns acts of terrorism, hate and violence, and we strongly disagree with the views expressed by Workers United, including its local affiliates, union organizers and those who identify as members of “Starbucks Workers United” – none of these groups speak for Starbucks Coffee Company and do not represent our company’s views, positions, or beliefs. Their words and actions belong to them, and them alone.
The ongoing confusion from this misinformation has sadly led directly to incidents where angry, hurt customers are confronting partners in our stores and sending graphic and violent messages to partners in our Customer Contact Center (CCC). Our retail leaders and support teams are prioritizing partner care and safety, working to ensure every store and the CCC feels supported in de-escalating these situations.
It is in the best interest and safety of our partners and customers for Workers United to disengage from the dialogue and from misrepresenting Starbucks. Workers United's actions risk putting partners from all stores, including both non-union and unionized stores, in harm’s way. On Friday, we contacted Workers United demanding they 1) immediately stop using our company name, logo and intellectual property, and 2) issue an immediate correction. This morning, unfortunately, they rejected that request. As a result, Starbucks will file litigation against the union in federal court, and we intend to pursue all legal options in defense of our partners and our company.
We will be in touch as we have more updates. Thank you for continuing to support one another, and for the work you do each day to create environments where everyone is welcome and feels a sense of belonging. Our actions have always been — and will always be — driven through the lens of humanity with our partners at the core.
Originally published on one.starbucks.com on October 11, 2023
Starbucks wants to again express our deepest sympathy for those who have been killed, wounded, displaced and impacted following the heinous and unacceptable acts of terror, escalating violence and hate against the innocent in Israel and Gaza this week. Furthermore, we are deeply troubled by the spread of misinformation, inaccurate headlines and third-party social media posts stemming from statements made by Workers United.
To be clear: We unequivocally condemn these acts of terrorism, hate and violence, and disagree with the statements and views expressed by Workers United and its members. Workers United’s words and actions belong to them, and them alone.
Workers United, its local affiliates, union organizers and those who identify as members of “Starbucks Workers United” do not speak for Starbucks Coffee Company and do not represent the company’s views, positions or beliefs.
There is no legal entity known as “Starbucks Workers United.” Rather, it is a subset of partners that are represented by Workers United, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) with more than two million members working across a range of industries in the U.S. and Canada.
Starbucks partners throughout the globe are rooted in our mission to nurture the limitless possibilities of human connection. We have been on a journey to create environments where everyone is welcome and feels a sense of belonging. Our actions have always been — and will always be — driven through the lens of humanity.
We encourage you to reach out directly to Workers United International President Lynne Fox and SEIU International President Mary Kay Henry to share your concerns.
Hear directly from our leaders
As Laxman Narasimhan, Starbucks ceo, shared with partners earlier this week:
“In times like these, it is essential that we remember what makes us Starbucks partners, and that we lean on our shared value of belonging. Let us remember that our strength lies in our ability to support one another with empathy and understanding, irrespective of our backgrounds and experiences. Together, we can continue to cultivate a safe and welcoming workplace where everyone feels heard, valued and included.” — Laxman Narasimhan, ceo
Unequivocal condemnation for acts of terror shared directly with partners and customers:
“As a leadership team, we want to again express our deepest sympathy for those who have been killed, wounded, displaced and impacted following the heinous acts of terror, escalating violence and hate against the innocent in Israel and Gaza this week. Starbucks unequivocally condemns acts of hate, terrorism and violence.” — Sara Kelly, evp and chief partner officer