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Bradford IWWs Defend Fired Starbucks Union Organizer

Peter Moore | 17.08.2006 19:35 | Globalisation | Repression | Workers' Movements | World

IWW Bradford in northern England leafletted two Starbucks stores on 12 August in support of union organizer Daniel Gross, who was the latest IWW fired in New York the Saturday before. The Starbucks Union has called for a boycott of Starbucks until all four organizers fired are re-hired.

IWW Bradford took the word to boycott Starbucks for its union-busting activities to the busy Bradford town crowds.

Store managers were taken by surprise. The manager in the new Centenary Square Starbucks jumped up from doing the accounts and told the IWWs to stop leafletting customers. The Fellow Workers only left once they had distributed leaflets to the clients and staff person.

"I didn't think you could cause so much jitter with
some A6 [leaflets]," said FW Clive, who reported that
the manager said we should call ahead next time we
want to leaflet. Sounds like a good idea.

The manager of Starbucks on the second floor of the
Waterstones bookstore spread his arms to block the
IWWs from climbing the stairs and distribute leaflets.
The other Starbucks manager had called ahead to warn
him. He said that his clients had the right to relax
and enjoy their coffees. The IWWs told him that
Starbucks employees had the right to unionize before
walking past him. The manager threatened to call the
police and the IWWs said, "Go ahead" and distributed
leaflets to customers. No police came.

The IWWs then left the store and continued to leaflet
in the street, encouraging hundreds of people to
boycott Starbucks until they re-hired the fired union
members. People responded positively, sometimes taking
an extra leaflet to share with others.

The Starbucks manager came into the street and spoke
with the Fellow Workers leafleting. Like his
colleague, he plainly had not been informed by
Starbucks about the Starbucks Union. "You know about
the health package and benefits, right?" he asked. FW
Peter replied that Starbucks workers still had the
right to organize a union and negotiate collectively
for better conditions without facing firing or

The IWW in Bradford calls on all people in the
Yorkshire region to stop purchasing Starbucks products
until the international coffee company re-hires the
fired IWW union organizers. No coffee is worth the
dignity of our members.

For more information, visit

To leaflet Starbucks in your area, download the leaflets on .

Peter Moore
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