MINNEAPOLIS — Some 25 workers in a south Minneapolis Starbucks went on strike, picketing on Cedar Avenue South here for two days starting July 31. The bosses were forced to close the store for both days as all the workers honored the picket lines.
Ethan Tinklenberg, one of the leaders of the walkout, said that they were members of Workers United, affiliated with the Service Employees International Union. He said that in the Minneapolis area, four Starbucks stores had voted to unionize and three more were organizing to do the same.
Workers said the main problem was understaffing, causing a large turnover.
Jade Schmeling, 23, told the Militant that due to the low wages and lack of hours she has to work two other jobs to make ends meet. She said this was her first experience in union organizing. “We came together to push for what we deserve.”
Emily Mahoney, another member of the organizing committee, said, “We need more pay. We need health care. We need safety. When we heard about the union organizing Starbucks in Buffalo, New York, a lot of us thought let’s do this here.”
David Rosenfeld, Socialist Workers Party candidate for U.S. Congress in Minnesota’s 5th C.D. here, joined the picket line and asked Schmeling about the support the workers were receiving. “I know things are not going to change overnight but support, including from you, is awesome,” she said.