Employees at Manhattan’s Starbucks NYC Roastery walked out on strike on Oct. 25 and 26. Via their union, workers are said to be complaining that management has refused to deal with urgent health and safety issues at the location, including a moldy ice machine and bed bugs.
The Starbucks flagship location, at 61 Ninth Avenue in Manhattan, saw workers with picket signs marching out in front of the store’s entrance and chanting “What do we want?” “Health and safety!” “When do we want it?” “Now!”
“This morning Starbucks Roastery workers went on strike over health and safety issues that we have been dealing with ever since winning our union vote in April,” Laura Garza, a Starbucks worker of 22 years is quoted as saying. “This includes a moldy ice machine that we are not equipped to properly remediate, and which are still in current use, as well as the more recent situation with bed bugs being found in the Roastery since this past Sunday. Proper protocols and communication to partners regarding bed bugs has been scarce and we are left in the dark. All the while, we haven’t heard from Starbucks about bargaining our contract.”
Workers United, the union representative for the workers, also filed a national Unfair Labor Practice charge with the National Labor Relations Board over Starbucks’ failure to bargain with the union.