LOCAL NEWS

Hundreds march through Downtown Seattle to support newly unionized Starbucks employees

Apr 24, 2022, 1:14 PM | Updated: 1:18 pm
Starbucks march...
Hundreds marched through Downtown Seattle on Saturday to support newly unionized Starbucks employees (via KIRO 7 News)
(via KIRO 7 News)

Hundreds marched into downtown Seattle in support of Starbucks’ newly unionized workers, despite harrowing stories from around the country.

The march was part of a push to organize workers at two Seattle corporate giants.

This latest push comes as the flagship Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle voted to unionize this week.

So far, Workers United says it has organized 25 other Starbucks stores around the country.

At the center of that fight here is Seattle City Councilmember Kshama Sawant.

Sawant has been giving up part of her salary to support causes like this one.

Sawant’s contribution is how union organizers were able to bring Starbucks workers here from around the country.

Workers came here to Cal Anderson Park to share their stories and add their voices to what they say is a national movement to unionize Starbucks, as well as Amazon.

Hundreds of people, many of them workers at Starbucks in the Emerald City and beyond, took to the streets of Seattle. Here, they said, they intended to send a message to newly reappointed CEO Howard Schultz.

Their chants rang out as they made their way to Westlake Park unescorted by Seattle police, giving a boost to workers on the front lines.

“Oh, I love this stuff,” said Billie Adeosun. “This is, this is our most powerful weapon.”

Adeosun works at an Olympia Starbucks which, she says, was the first on the West Coast to start to organize, although workers did not undergo the effort without trepidation. Now she is watching the union movement catch fire among her peers.

“We’re showing (newly reinstated CEO) Howard Schultz, and we’re showing other corporations that are just like Starbucks, that we’re not going to be silenced,” said Adeosun, “that we’re not going to stop.”

Just last Thursday, the Workers United union squeaked out a victory at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, the 26th yes vote so far at the Seattle-based coffee giant.

“I think a big part of it was just the teamwork amongst all the partners at the Roastery,” said Liz Duran, a Roastery worker for one year.

But there were less triumphant stories from Starbucks workers that Seattle Councilmember Kshama Sawant flew in from around the country.

“This month would have been my third year until I was fired April 11th,” said Hannah Whitbeck, from Ann Arbor, Michigan. “I was fired for leaving a barista in the store alone without contacting management.”

Now Sawant is inviting workers to join in protest on May 1, May Day.

As for the Olympia Starbucks workers who started the union movement here, they expect to find out the results of their union vote next Friday.

So, stay tuned.


Local News

Former Bremerton High School assistant football coach Joe Kennedy answers questions after his legal...
Luis Andres Henao, The Associated Press

After Supreme Court backs Bremerton praying coach, no sweeping changes

Three months after the decision, there’s no sign that large numbers of coaches have been newly inspired to follow Joseph Kennedy’s high-profile example.
11 hours ago
crime...
L.B. Gilbert

Tacoma officer fires gun, breaks up bar fight

A Tacoma Police Officer fired their gun while on a call to a confrontation at a bar late Wednesday night. At around 11:00 p.m., police received a call about a fight at The Office Bar and Grill on Pacific Avenue near S 8th Street, including one man who reportedly fired his gun inside the bar. […]
11 hours ago
seattle childrens...
Ryan Simms, KIRO 7 News

Seattle Children’s Hospital faces ‘unprecedented’ ER wait times

As flu season fast approaches, Seattle Children’s Hospital is already seeing an overflow of kids needing medical help.
11 hours ago
contract...
Lisa Brooks

Seattle School Board unanimously OK’s new teacher’s union contract

The final vote on a new 3-year contract for Seattle Public School's (SPS) teachers is unanimous, approving the deal teacher's ratified Sept. 20
11 hours ago
(Photo Illustration by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)...
Associated Press

GOP candidate apologizes after antisemitic post surfaces

A GOP candidate for the Washington Legislature has acknowledged that a post he put on social media in 2020 is antisemitic.
11 hours ago
monkey...
Nicole Jennings

PETA storms UW over treatment of medical research monkeys on first day of classes

It was all part of a protest by PETA and the Northwest Animal Rights Network against UW's Northwest Center for Primate Research.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
Hundreds march through Downtown Seattle to support newly unionized Starbucks employees