The Spark

the Voice of
The Communist League of Revolutionary Workers–Internationalist

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.”
— Karl Marx

Organizing for Their Future

Aug 1, 2022

Many young people working at Starbucks have tried to organize their branch co-workers into a union. Starbucks has 25,000 stores, and every single one is considered a separate entity, even when they are only a few miles apart. So counter staff have to organize store by store, in 25,000 locations, in order to gain a union.

The company has fired people trying to organize, despite a law saying that is illegal. And other companies do the same, keeping workers divided by category, by race, by sex, by immigration status. Starbucks management even closed stores when a union campaign got going.

So far, 150 Starbucks locations have succeeded in going through the long process, talking with other workers to convince them to apply to different unions, hold a vote, and fend off management attempts to ruin their campaigns.

The difficulties are the same for workers at Amazon or Apple or any other large company, especially in retail where pay is low and conditions can be difficult. Corporations gain even more money by keeping their workers disorganized.

Perhaps these 150 Starbucks successes will encourage other workers to organize!