MEMPHIS, Tenn. - East Memphis coffee addicts were once again greeted by a closed store as employees protested the Starbucks corporation.
“We're just fighting for our rights,” said Harvey Hendry, an employee of the Starbucks on Poplar Avenue near Highland Street. “We're fighting for fair wages. We're fighting for a safe workplace.”
The workers joined employees of more than 100 stores across the country on Wednesday.
On Thursday, Starbucks shareholders are set to vote on a resolution for a third-party assessment of workers’ rights.
“We believe the apparent misalignment between Starbucks’ public commitments and its reported conduct represents material reputational, legal and operational risks and may impact its long-term value,” wrote company officials in the 2023 Notice of Annual Meeting of Shareholders and Proxy Statement.
“Please don’t support Starbucks today”: Starbucks workers on Poplar and Prescott have closed the store in support of the union. pic.twitter.com/wPWKoD72IZ— Kate Bieri (@KateBieri) March 22, 2023
Back in November, the same store protested after a reported case of mold in an ice machine.
“If you take one step forward, you're taking 10 steps back,” Harvey said.
The corporation also hired back the infamous "Memphis Seven" at the Poplar location after the National Labor Review Board investigated allegations of union busting.
Hendry hopes the corporation will provide better pay in a safer environment.
“It's not too much to ask for fair wages, ask for a safe place to work and to feel like we're actual humans,” he said.
FOX13 reached out to Starbucks, which did not comment by deadline.
The employees said the store should reopen on Thursday.
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