Local Starbucks stores affected by nationwide employee strike

Thursday is ‘Red Cup Day’ one of the busiest days of the year for the coffee chain

Workers at the Mandarin Starbucks strike on Red Cup Day (Copyright 2022 by WJXT News4Jax - All rights reserved.)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Starbucks stores in San Marco and Mandarin experienced an employee strike on Thursday, one of the busiest days of the year for the coffee franchise.

Thursday is Red Cup Day, which means the stores give free reusable cups to customers who purchase a holiday drink. These local stores joined more than 100 across the country as part of their largest labor action since a campaign to unionize the company’s stores began late last year.

RELATED: Starbucks workers strike at more than 100 stores

Sadie Ponicall, a Jacksonville barista told News4JAX, “Our main goal for our strike here today is to demand that Starbucks sit down with us at the bargaining table and negotiate a union contract with us.”

Ponicall continued, “It’s a nationwide effort to go on strike on Red Cup Day which is one of the busiest days of the year. It’s showing Starbucks that we mean business, we are not backing down.”

Starbucks, which opposes the unionization effort, said it is aware of the walkouts and respects its employees’ right to lawfully protest. The Seattle company noted that the protests are happening at a small number of its 9,000 company-run U.S. locations.

“We remain committed to all partners and will continue to work together, side-by-side, to make Starbucks a company that works for everyone,” the company said Thursday in a statement.

“Starbucks is a really good job and I love my job dearly and that’s why I’m doing all this,” Ponicall said. “But a lot of the times our stores are insanely understaffed, we are expected to work very inconsistent shifts. It can be very overwhelming and we are not fairly compensated for that.”

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