The unionized employees at the Starbucks location in Bartonville walked out at noon Thursday because they said they would have been understaffed to handle a rush for a nationwide promotional deal.
Every Thursday afternoon in September, Starbucks is offering a buy one get one free deal on its fall drink menu, which includes the popular Pumpkin Spice Latte, called “September ThursYays.” Union Rep. Leo Baker said that last Thursday, the coffee shop was “insanely busy and understaffed.”
“We were completely slammed, it was miserable,” Baker said. “So today, I delivered the strike notice five minutes before noon and we walked out at noon,” right when the promotion started.
Baker said management have kept the drive-thru lane open and called in other Starbucks managers to cover for the striking employees. The store manager declined to comment, other than to say that the shop, located at 3012 FM 407, remained open Thursday.
“Now they have more people working than I would have had, more than I had last week,” Baker said. “They have the people, but they’re not willing to give us the help unless it is helping them.”
Baker said the employees are striking until the end of the business day.
“We will return to work tomorrow,” Baker said.
Baker said the employees want “proper coverage” during busy times, and they are “hoping this strike adds more pressure on Starbucks to come to the bargaining table.”