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Working People

Jun 9, 2022

We've adjusted our episode publishing schedule to bring y'all an urgent episode about Starbucks' escalating retaliation against pro-union workers and Starbucks Workers United. As Rina Torchinsky writes for NPR, "Starbucks is closing a store in Ithaca, NY, in what Starbucks union organizers are calling an illegal move of retaliation after workers at the location voted to unionize. The coffee giant gave the employees at the College Ave. location near Cornell University a one-week notice of the closure, the union says, with the store slated to permanently close on June 10. The coffee giant has said the decision to close the store was unrelated to the unionization effort. The store was one of three Starbucks locations in Ithaca that voted to unionize on April 8. Workers at the College Ave. location previously went on a one-day strike in April for what the union says were unsafe working conditions—'a waste emergency caused by the overflowing grease trap.' Starbucks later cited the grease trap as reason for shuttering the location, according to the union."  In this mini-cast, we talk with Nadia Vitek, a partner at the College Ave. location and a worker-organizer with Starbucks Workers United, about the sudden decision to close the store and the mounting evidence that this is an illegal act of retaliation meant to send a chilling message to pro-union workers around the country. 

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Featured Music (all songs sourced from the Free Music Archive:

  • Jules Taylor, "Working People Theme Song