LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Starbucks around the country are supposed to be handing out free, branded holiday cups to customers who make select purchases on Thursday, Nov. 17.
Baristas at an east Louisville Starbucks and at dozens of locations across the U.S. have instead gone on strike, commencing what they're calling the "Red Cup Rebellion".
In response to what the union is calling Starbucks' union-busting tactics and refusal to bargain, Louisville's first unionized Starbucks is among the stores protesting.
The Starbucks on Factory Lane, along with more than 100 other unionizing locations are handing out red "Starbucks Workers United" union cups to customers.
The walkouts are purposefully scheduled to coincide with Starbucks’ annual "Red Cup Day", when the company gives free reusable cups to customers who order a holiday drink.
Workers say it’s often one of the busiest days of the year. Starbucks declined to say how many red cups it plans to distribute.
Some workers reportedly planned to picket all day while others planned shorter walkouts. The union said the goal is to shut the stores down during the walkouts.
Stores in 25 states planned to take part in this labor action, according to Starbucks Workers United, the group organizing the effort.
This is reportedly the biggest coordinated national action taken by union Starbucks stores since the campaign to unionize the company’s stores began late last year.