SAN DIEGO — Starbucks’ annual “Red Cup Day” may be accompanied with long wait times Thursday, instead of holiday cheer.
Thousands of workers, including some in San Diego, are planning to strike while demanding the coffee giant comes to the bargaining table in regards to staffing and scheduling concerns.
The Workers United union proclaimed the day as the “Red Cup Rebellion,” choosing the date because it’s one of Starbucks’ busiest days of the year. Annually, those who order a holiday drink of this day receive a reusable cup.
As part of the strike, workers are demanding that Starbucks turn off mobile ordering on future promotion days. Workers have said promotion days “add another layer of stress” due to claims of understaffing.
“Business at this location (Hillcrest) has continued to grow, yet we still have partners losing hours and have to deal with understaffed shifts,” said Saïx Campbell, a shift supervisor at the Starbucks located at University Avenue near Richmond Avenue. “Not having enough people to meet the level of the ever increasing demand negatively affects the customers as well as the baristas, and we all feel that the parties involved deserve better. With that in mind, having this be our first strike feels important.”
According to the Associated Press, Starbucks downplayed any potential impact of the strike Wednesday, saying it would occur at a “small subset” of the company’s 9,600 company-owned U.S. stores.
In a statement to the news organization regarding the matter, Starbucks said, “We remain committed to working with all partners, side-by-side, to elevate the everyday, and we hope that Workers United’s priorities will shift to include the shared success of our partners and negotiating contracts for those they represent.”
San Diego members of the Workers United union told FOX 5 picketers will be outside the Hillcrest store around 7 a.m. Thursday. Workers from Starbucks locations in Leucadia, Encinitas, and San Diego are expected to join the picket line.
Whether or not this will impact service at local Starbucks is to be determined.