If you’re hoping to grab a venti Oleato with extra olive oil cold foam or a bumblebee cake pop from Starbucks today, you may be out of luck. Starbucks Workers United, the union made up of more than 3,000 employees in Starbucks stores across the country, announced that more than 150 locations would be shut down Friday through the next week. They’re striking to protest Starbucks allegedly asking to take down Pride decorations in stores this month, according to a press release from the union.
“We’re striking with pride to show the public who Starbucks really is, and to let them know we’re not going anywhere,” says Moe Mills, a shift supervisor from Richmond Heights, Missouri, in the press release.
The Seattle Roastery, Starbucks’ flagship location in Seattle, is the first store to be shut down today, beginning the weeklong strikes that will take place at unionized Starbucks locations from coast-to-coast. A worker at a store in San Antonio tells CNBC it plans to join in, although a schedule of all shutdown locations isn’t available. According to the union, more than 24 additional strike authorizations are being voted on, potentially bringing the total number of shutdown stores to close to 200. Starbucks Workers United has created a map, which will be updated every morning at 8 a.m. ET, where you can check whether your local spot will be shut down. Strikes and shutdowns will continue through July 1, a Starbucks Workers United spokesperson said via email.
But a Starbucks spokesperson says that affected locations will try to bring in employees from nearby locations to pick up extra hours in order to keep the locations open and functioning. “Less than 10 stores have currently reported modifications to store operations, up to and including closure for the day, due to protest activities,” the spokesperson wrote in an email.
The strike comes after some Starbucks locations allegedly removed decorations for Pride month. Starbucks Workers United claims Starbucks has enacted a ban across stores, which the company vehemently denies. “We unwaveringly support the LGBTQIA2+ community,” the spokesperson wrote. “There has been no change to any policy on this matter and we continue to encourage our store leaders to celebrate with their communities including for Pride Month.” Still, reporting by Restaurant Dive alleges instances of district management at specific stores removing Pride decor based on changes in policy, and the nonprofit news site More Perfect Union has published an alleged memo by an Oklahoma City store manager suggesting that Starbucks executives decided to cancel Pride decorations last year.