One of the best parts of watching a unlikely group try to unionize--in this case, Starbucks baristas--are the expressions of solidarity from their "brothers and sisters" in other unions. To wit: The Amalgamated Lithographers of America Local One from New York City, have announced a boycott of Starbucks. "Oh God," evil fat cats at corporate headquarters must have said, "anything but a boycott by the lithographers! We're ruined!"
Starbucks recently fired barista Daniel Gross, who had been organizing pro-union events and demonstrations at Starbucks locations. The lithographers, steadfast friends of the underdog, sprang into action, urging the company "to reconsider the shamelessly greedy and patently anti-union attacks against these workers, and we would encourage you to remain mindful that nothing happens in a vacuum anymore - the whole world is watching, and you are being judged."
Starbucks workers, nearly all of whom are part-time, get health benefits (including dental), paid vacation and sick leave, stock options, a 401(k) plan, dometic partner benefits, and a pound of coffee every week. They're called "partners," and they earn significantly more than minimum wage, with average annual pay of hourly employees at $35,294 last year. Observe the despondent wage slave depicted at right.
"Poisoning the well from which everyone drinks is no way to ensure a supply of water," the valiant lithographers admonish. To which Starbucks might reply: No problem. If the well gets poisoned, everyone can drink caramel macchiatos instead.