Workers at hundreds of Starbucks (SBUX) locations in the U.S. walked off the job on the company’s annual “Red Cup” promotional day to protest working conditions.
Red Cup day is when Starbucks hands out free red-colored, reusable, holiday-themed cups to consumers with their coffee purchases.
The retail coffee chain said that “a few dozen stores with some partners (were) on strike” during the promotional event.
Some workers at Starbucks locations in New York City set-up picket lines and chanted “no contract, no coffee” in reference to ongoing efforts to unionize.
Red Cup day is typically the busiest of the year at Starbucks locations, with in-store traffic rising more than 90% over the typical daily average.
The Workers United union has been trying to organize Starbucks locations in the U.S. and currently represents more than 9,000 employees at about 360 American stores.
However, Starbucks has nearly 10,000 locations in the U.S. and says that less than 3% of its retail stores are represented by a union.
To date, management at Starbucks has refused to negotiate a collective agreement with the Workers United union.
However, Starbucks recently announced that it is raising the hourly pay of its U.S. retail workers by 3% heading into 2024.
Starbucks’ stock has increased 6% this year and currently trades at $107.21 U.S. per share.