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Columbus Starbucks workers protest after company doesn't bargain with employees' union

Starbucks employees strike 11-17-22.jpg
Steve Brown/WOSU
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About a dozen workers held signs outside the Starbucks store located at 88 East Broad Street in downtown Columbus.

About a dozen employees at a Starbucks in downtown Columbus marched Thursday to protest the company for not bargaining with their union.

The employees held picket signs outside the Starbucks located at 88 East Broad Street.

Damon Schnur is a shift supervisor at the store that closed for the day, along with more than 100 locations across the country.

"For all the union stores that have come together to negotiate, the company is not negotiating in good faith,” Schnur said. “And when they do come to the bargaining table, they have walked out, interrupted us while we've been trying to say our proposals and whatnot, and just refusing to communicate with us further."

Schnur says while the strike is only happening Thursday, it's a warning to Starbucks leaders that if bargaining does not start, there could be more strikes.

Schnur says the strike was held on what's called Red Cup Day, when stores give away holiday-themed cups with the purchase of a seasonal drink. "It's called a Red Cup Rebellion. Today is Red Cup Day, which is one of the most profitable days of the year for Starbucks,” Schnur says. “So we are choosing to withhold our labor, because they are understaffing our stores as retaliation to union stores especially."

Schnur’s Broad Street store was the first to unionize in central Ohio.

WOSU reached out to Starbucks' headquarters for comment about the strike, but have not received any response.

Debbie Holmes began her career in broadcasting in Columbus after graduating from The Ohio State University. She left the Buckeye state to pursue a career in television news and worked as a reporter and anchor in Moline, Illinois and Memphis, Tennessee.