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Ann Arbor Starbucks employees joining nationwide walkout this weekend

Starbucks employees participate in a walkout at the location at the corner of Main and Liberty Streets on Friday, Dec. 16.
Courtesy of Hannah Whitbeck
Starbucks employees participate in a walkout at the location at the corner of Main and Liberty Streets on Friday, Dec. 16.

Starbucks employees around the country are walking out over the next three days. The goal is to draw attention to their frustration with a lack of progress with union negotiations. Several employees from all four of the unionized Ann Arbor area stores joined the nationwide walkout today and plan to continue throughout the weekend.

Hannah Whitbeck is the former lead union organizer at the Starbucks location at the corner of Main and Liberty Streets. She hopes the walkouts will encourage other stores to join their unionizing effort.

“It’s just a matter of time before more start to participate, but hopefully this will start to show them we’re not going to just sit down and be quiet about this.”

According to Whitbeck, workplace conditions and safety have surpassed pay and benefits as her local union’s top priority.

Starbucks tells WEMU in a statement: "We respect our partners' right to engage in lawful protest activities, but we remain focused on listening to our partners and working alongside them to reinvent the Partner Experience and the future of Starbucks."

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Josh Hakala is the general assignment reporter for the WEMU news department.
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