A beloved Starbucks holiday turned into means for demonstration by disgruntled workers as strikes broke out all over the country on Thursday.
Over 2,000 Starbucks employees at 112 locations went on strike during Starbucks’ Red Cup Day, a one-day event where customers can order any holiday-crafted beverage and receive that year’s special edition of a free, reusable red cup (while supplies last, of course).
The holiday often causes chaos with fans lining up before stores open to ensure they get their hands on one. But this year, chaos of a different kind reigned. Strikes organized by a national union decided to hit back at Starbucks and use the ever-popular day to drive their demands home amid an ongoing fight for national unionization for Starbucks stores that’s been met with much pushback.
Throughout the day on Thursday, #RedCupRebellion trended on Twitter, with many posting in support of workers’ unionization efforts and others documenting scenes from the strikes.
— PJB Workers United (@PJBWU) November 17, 2022
— Michelle Eisen (@michelleeisen) November 17, 2022
Red cup day is Starbucks most profitable day of the year and despite all that profit, Starbucks is STILL refusing to work with the union. So @SBWorkersUnited is striking today. SUPPORT THE UNION. DON’T CROSS THE PICKET LINE. #redcuprebellion
— victoria hammett (@HammettVictoria) November 17, 2022
— Jorts (and Jean) (@JortsTheCat) November 17, 2022
— Starbucks Workers United (@SBWorkersUnited) November 17, 2022
Starbucks is being accused of several anti-union actions, including retaliating against employees who expressed interest in creating or joining a union and offering additional benefits and raises to non-unionized stores.
The first-ever Starbucks store to unionize was one located in Buffalo, New York in December 2021.
Starbucks was down just over 14.3% in a one-year period as of late Thursday afternoon.