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Morning Spew

Are There Bedbugs In Our Starbucks Stores This Wednesday?

Starbucks refuses to meet with unionized workers and other links to start your day.

6:08 AM EDT on October 26, 2022

Blazed BB Yoda (Hell Gate)

For months, workers at the seven unionized Starbucks locations in New York City have been urging the company to begin negotiations on their first contracts. This week, workers were ready to sit down with management to begin hashing out the historic agreements; instead, many of the workers are now on strike, as the company continues to stall. 

First, workers in Brooklyn waged a one-day strike over the weekend as the company continues to push back when it will sit down with workers to iron out a contract (and as it continues to stall and retaliate against workers). For those unionized workers the company has agreed to meet with, the “negotiations” have been brief—lawyers for the company walked out of meetings this week after just a few short minutes

But unions aren’t just for negotiating a contract, they’re also for coordinating strike actions! Yesterday, workers at the company’s Meatpacking Reserve Roastery walked off the job after they said their concerns about black mold and bed bugs went unheeded by the company. 

"This morning Starbucks Roastery workers went on strike over health and safety issues that we have been dealing with ever since winning our union vote in April," employee Laura Garza told Patch. "This includes a moldy ice machine that we are not equipped to properly remediate, and which are still in current use, as well as the more recent situation with bed bugs being found in the Roastery."

Starbucks says it sent pest control to the site, but that no bed bugs were found. 

Workers at the Roastery were the first Starbucks workers to win their union election in NYC. Today, they’re striking again—and yes, one of their demands besides health and safety, is for the company to actually negotiate a contract, something Starbucks has shown no interest in doing.

Here are links from the workers:

  • In keeping with our labor theme to today’s Spew, a sad but defiant note—West Coast historian and fervent socialist Mike Davis has died. While his most famous works explore the human-made catastrophe that is southern California, his purview spanned the globe and every geography, from British atrocities in India to fake German cities in the American desert (built to be bombed with maximmum efficiency). His clear understanding of the levers of power, and unqualified disdain for those who pulled them, was a deep resource for those trying come to grips with late and late-late capitalism. Still, he never lost the will to fight for a better world, even while facing down an early demise. Whatever atrocities still await us, we’ll go without America’s most astonishing historian and geographer. Curse your local homeowner’s association today. Mike Davis, presente! 
  • Park Slope man has a giant pumpkin.
  • Mayor Eric Adams wants to speed up rezonings to build more apartments.
  • A presentation by school safety agents in Prospect Heights went way off the rails
  • Nearly one in ten public school students were homeless last year.
  • The only gubernatorial debate took place last night, please remember to vote. 
  • The legal battle over the City’s vaccine mandate for public sector employees continues
  • Wall Street jobs are fleeing for…Dallas? Have fun.
  • And finally, get ready to learn what it’s like to Be Doug:  

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