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Workers at 2 downtown Seattle Starbucks stores picket over ‘unfair labor practices’

Workers said the two stores are trying to join the Starbucks Workers United Union, which currently includes 20 stores.

SEATTLE — Workers at two Starbucks stores said they are going on strike Friday to protest what the Starbuck Workers United Union (SBWU) called “unfair labor practices” and “union-busting tactics.”

The two stores that say they are going on strike include the location at Fifth Avenue and Pike Street and the location on Eastlake Avenue.

In a release, the SBWU said shift supervisors and baristas are participating in a three-day strike at the Pike Street location that workers say has experienced hours being cut and staffing shortages among other unfair labor practices.

The union said the store’s workers filed to unionize in January, but since then have experienced “anti-union tactics” as they await the union vote.

SBWU said the timing of the picket outside the Pike Street location is significant with SakuraCon happening through the weekend around the corner at the Washington State Convention Center.

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Workers at the Eastlake Avenue location say they’ve been working to join SBWU since March, but the union said managers at the store have “targeted employees with unprecedented enforcement policies.”

The SBWU said it has filed an “unfair labor practice charge” with the National Labor Relations Board, which is currently pending.

“Given Starbucks’ public portrayal of their empathy and dedication for their partners, it is incredibly disheartening to see such malicious attempts to silence us. I have found a community at Eastlake after transferring to this location, and the treatment that my fellow partners are facing is deplorable. We are the heart of this company and we deserve to be treated as such,” said Natalie Mattera, a Starbucks barista, in a release.

SBWU said in its release that 20 Starbucks stores around the country have successfully unionized, and more than 200 stores have filed for union elections.

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