Starbucks Protests held over the Weekend in Grand Rapids, Around the World

Over the weekend, a protest was held at the Starbucks at the corner of East Beltline and 28th Street in West Michigan. The protest–attended by around thirty people–was one of dozens held around the world as part of a “Global Day of Action” against Starbucks for its union-busting. Starbucks has fired several union organizers, including one in West Michigan. will have a video report on the protest up later today or tomorrow, but for now, here is a picture of a banner drop at the store and a statement on the protest from the Grand Rapids Starbucks Workers Union:


“Supporters dropped a banner over the building before the action. Pictured is District Manager Tom Balenger (616-826-9386) that fired Cole Dorsey.

The action went off very well despite Starbucks’ and the police response. Tom Balenger surveilled the protest the whole time in an attempt to identify and intimidate baristas in attendance.

Supporters dropped a banner over Starbucks sign before the protest action, and Tom told the police that Cole did it. The police then watched the whole protest with 2 to 3 cruisers on the scene or talking with Tom.

Despite this, participants held a lively protest. There was a 4 ft. Starbucks cup which symbolized Starbucks union-busting, poverty wages, lies about social responsibility, etc.. And there was a bat which symbolized globalized solidarity. Baristas demonstrated what happens to Starbucks union-busting when confronted with global solidarity.

All the major TV networks covered the story with pictures and interviews. The coverage was surprisingly good for mainstream media.

There are more pictures, and video, to come from Grand Rapids and around the world.

Thanks to all that participated and gave a crushing blow to Starbucks on July 5th, 2008. This is not the end though. The fight doesn’t end until the re-instatement of of ALL wrongfully terminated baristas. We’ve just shown Starbucks what we are capable of! With global solidarity we will win!”