Workers at Starbucks walk out for Red Cup Rebellion

Published: Nov. 16, 2023 at 4:55 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 16, 2023 at 5:17 PM CST
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OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (KCTV) - One of the biggest promotional days of the year for Starbucks was put on hold Thursday by workers who went on strike.

Strikes at Starbucks across the nation disrupted business Thursday, including at the Starbucks on 75th Street just off I-35. A strike at that location began at 7 a.m. and went on until noon.

Red Cup Day -- the first day customers could get a free, red-colored, resuable holiday-themed cup -- was disrupted.

According to Starbucks Workers United, the promotional day is one of the most understaffed days of the year.

“Red Cup Day is Starbucks’s biggest sales event of the season and also one of the most infamously hard, understaffed days for the baristas that work them,” Starbucks Workers United said in a statement. “Last year, workers went on strike. This year, on the heels of victories won by striking workers across different industries nationwide, Starbucks workers are taking the rebellion to the next level!”

Workers at the Overland Park location were joined by members of the UAW.

Starbucks issued a response to the strike:

We have nearly 10,000 stores open right now delighting our customers with the joy of Red Cup Day. Currently, there are fewer than 100 stores where some partners have chosen to participate in protest activities, but the majority of those stores are open and serving customers.

Will also reinforce that Starbucks has a long history of surprising and delighting our customers with periodic offers and promotions such as Double Star Days, Thurs-yays, and Red Cup Day. Scheduling for promotional days varies year-over-year, but they have been consistently used by the company throughout our history to engage with and delight our customers.

We understand that these promotional days change store patterns and traffic, and that’s why our retail leaders have the flexibility to build and adjust staffing schedules to reflect the unique and dynamic needs of each store — balancing store resources and expected customer demand to ensure partners are on the floor when they’re needed most. Notably, our store schedules are created three weeks in advance with our partners’ availability and preferences at the forefront. Our stores are often provided additional labor hours to augment staffing in support of planned promotional days, including for Red Cup Day.