The Best Way To Support Unionizing Starbucks Employees

The push for Starbuck employees to unionize has been steeped in controversy from the very beginning. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has issued disparaging remarks against unionizers, and the company has filed formal complaints against them; The popular coffee chain has fired pro-union employees, which has resulted in a lawsuit by the National Labor Relations Board; And even Bernie Sanders has weighed in on the scandal, encouraging the brand to "end union busting."

Even with all of this controversy, pro-union employees have found success. According to the Huffington Post, more than 50 stores have now voted to unionize with more than 100 set to hold their own votes on the issue. Other popular chains like Chipotle are also seeking to unionize (via Gothamist).

Many of the coffee chain's passionate fans may have found themselves caught amid the controversy as well. It's natural to feel torn between patronizing a favorite coffee shop, and supporting the employees that make that possible. There are a few methods out there for those that would like to support unionizing efforts without having to completely sacrifice their favorite drinks.

Supporting the unionizations of Starbucks locations can be easy

In some cases, supporting your local stores' unionizing efforts can be as easy as sipping a cup of coffee. And certain stores will hold sip-ins as a way to show support for unionizing efforts. Thrillist notes that sip-ins are a great opportunity for community members to show up and vocalize support, or to simply stuff the tip jar. Two stores in the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago held sip-in rallies at their locations just before voting to formally join the union.

Starbucks Workers United also has an online shop where they sell merchandise that supports their cause. A t-shirt, sticker, or button is an easy way to show that you care about the unionizing efforts and gives financial support to the cause. The Starbucks Workers United website also has a great FAQ page that explains why they feel the need to form a union. Even just learning more about the need for unions can be a way to show support. Educating yourself means you can make a case for pro-union employees to friends who might not understand. 

Thrillist also notes that keeping an eye out for demonstrations and digital petitions is another great way to show support. Following along with pages on Instagram or Twitter is a great way to learn about these efforts, and show support. Some Reddit users also claimed that calling Starbucks' corporate office and vocalizing your support can be a great sign of solidarity.