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Seattle City Council urged to back Starbucks workers and condemn union busting

SEATTLE City Council member Kshama Sawant called on Tuesday for the local administration to condemn Starbucks for its national union-busting campaign and support the right to organise collectively.

She asked fellow councillors to back the resolution, believed to be the first of its kind in the US, in the city where the global coffee chain was founded 50 years ago.

It highlights the bumper profits made by Starbucks and urges the council to support the unionisation of its workers across the country, with 30 stores now having filed for union recognition.

Starbucks workers — referred to as “partners” by the firm — have faced an aggressive anti-union campaign by bosses, including compulsory meetings and a barrage of text messages. 

“Starbucks is a behemoth of a corporation,” Ms Sawant said. “We will need a class-struggle approach to win. There can be no illusions that the bosses will be on our side — they will fight ferociously against us. 

“If Starbucks workers succeed in building a union — and not only building a union but winning a fair contract — this will be nothing short of an earthquake.

“It will be unprecedented in the fast food industry and the first successful union drive on this giant scale in the private sector in decades.” 

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