Starbucks Workers Plan Strikes at 150+ Stores Amid Clash over LBGTQ+ Displays
June 23, 2023: More than 150 Starbucks stores across the United States are bracing for strikes as a dispute unfolds between the coffee chain and a union representing baristas. The disagreement stems from LBGTQ+ displays in stores during Pride month.
Starbucks Workers United, the union representing the baristas, announced on Friday via Twitter that approximately 3,500 workers intend to strike over the next week.
Union organizers have accused Starbucks of banning Pride displays in its U.S. stores following negative social media campaigns and backlash from other brands like Disney, Target, and Bud Light. Anti-LBGTQ+ groups and individuals have also targeted brands like Chick-fil-A and Cracker Barrel Old Country Store online.
According to Workers United, store managers nationwide have limited or removed Pride displays during the month-long celebration of LGBTQ+ individuals. Managers have cited safety concerns, referring to incidents at Target where angry customers caused damage and confronted employees.
Starbucks, however, has consistently denied the claims made by union organizers, asserting that there has been no change in its policy regarding Pride displays. The company maintains its unwavering support for LGBTQ+ employees, offering comprehensive health benefits to same-sex partners since 1988 and adding coverage for gender reassignment surgery in 2013. Starbucks is also selling Pride-themed tumblers designed by Toronto artist Tim Singleton, who is gay.
Starbucks, headquartered in Seattle, has yet to respond to requests for comment since early Friday.
brand name, business data, and digital assets. However, Bed Bath’s physical retail stores are still expected to close as part of the bankruptcy proceedings.
The agreement’s news positively impacted Overstock’s stock, which surged by 14% in early trading on Thursday.
It’s worth noting that Bed Bath’s baby goods retail chain, Buy Buy Baby, is not included in the deal with Overstock.com. Its assets will be subject to a separate bankruptcy-run action.
The agreement is pending approval from the US bankruptcy court for the District of New Jersey, with a hearing scheduled for Tuesday.
Bed Bath & Beyond’s decision to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection initially hinted at a possible business wind-down. However, the company later stated its intention to focus on liquidating assets, which is more commonly associated with Chapter 7 bankruptcy.
The $21.5 million price tag for Bed Bath & Beyond’s assets is a significant drop from its peak market cap of over $16 billion in 2013. The company has experienced declining sales in recent years, with just $7.9 billion in 2021, the lowest annual figure since 2009. The pandemic further accelerated its decline as consumers shifted towards online retailers like Amazon and Wayfair.
In addition to the Overstock.com deal, JOWA Brands was selected as the backup bidder for Bed Bath’s own Wamsutta sheets and towels brand, and Ten Twenty-Four was chosen as the backup-bidder for the Beyond.com domain, which operates under the name Beyond Pricing and provides pricing software for vacation rental properties.
While selling intellectual property assets offers some financial relief for Bed Bath & Beyond, the company still faces significant challenges in its quest to revitalize its business and adapt to changing consumer preferences.