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Starbucks workers strike 7 stores in Illinois

By Sam Keefe

Starbucks workers.

Chicago, IL – On Wednesday, March 22, seven Starbucks stores in Illinois joined around 115 others across the country on strike, demanding an end to the ruthless and illegal union busting campaign being waged by the company against its workers. Five stores in Chicago as well as one in Rockford and one in Carbondale joined their coworkers nationwide in their demand for Starbucks to sit down and bargain in good faith.

Thanks to support from community allies, other unions, and folks in solidarity with the Starbucks Workers United movement, all seven stores in Illinois were able to keep their stores closed and send the few scabs and management who tried to open the shops home with their tails between their legs.

In a collective statement made by a striking store in Chicago’s Greektown neighborhood, the workers declared, “Starbucks only works because we do!” This message echoed throughout the country. The strikes took place one day before the company’s annual shareholder’s meeting, as well as a week before former CEO Howard Shultz, is set to testify before the U.S. Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, or HELP, committee in the wake of the company's union busting.

The National Labor Relations Board has issued over 80 complaints against Starbucks for violating federal labor law, and Shultz, who initially declined to testify, only agreed to do so after threat of a subpoena from the HELP committee. The strikes also welcomed in new CEO, Laxman Narasimhan (former CCO of PepsiCo), who took over from Shultz two weeks earlier than expected, on March 20.

The movement happening at Starbucks is important the labor movement. The workers are relying on all the support they can get to push the company over the edge and take a seat at the table. To get in touch with an organizer about organizing your Starbucks workplace, or to learn more about how you can get involved in the movement, contact your local union shop, or go to

#ChicagoIL #StarbucksWorkersUnited