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Philadelphians Join Global Day of Action Against Starbucks’ Anti-Union Terminations

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UPDATE: Philadelphia journalist and IWW member John Kalwaic reports that on July 5, the Philadelphia IWW organized an action outside Starbucks "to protest the firing of Starbucks baristas who had been trying to unionize with the IWW Starbucks Workers Union in the United States. This event was coordinated with the Anarchist CNT Union in Spain where baristas have also been fired for organizing." (READ FULL REPORT)

Events took place in New York City, Grand Rapids, MI, and Seville, Spain. Organizers say that coordinated actions across the US, Europe, and Latin America could be the largest ever against the coffee giant. Read more: Press Release & Event Info | | | Related Coverage: MediaMouse.Org Report | Starbucks Fires Barista for Union Activity! from Grand Rapids Starbucks Union | Starbucks Stores to Close, Only Tens of Thousands Left from KBCS in Seattle, WA | | | Picture from Lancaster, PA report

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Reportback from the event

A small but spirited group of nine demonstrators gathered at the Starbucks on 9th and South, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m. today, harmonizing on songs including "Solidarity Forever" and "The Internationale," distributing leaflets, holding signs, and chanting slogans like, "What's disgusting? Union busting! What's outrageous? Starbucks wages!" We were met with a glad response from passersby, with whom engaged in many impromptu conversations discussing Starbucks reprisals against workers in Grand Rapids, New York, and Seville, as well as Starbucks Workers Union gains in Chicago and New York. Two Starbucks employees came out and told us, "You can't be here! You can't be doing this! You are so ignorant, you don't know the first thing about this company! You'd better leave or I'm going to do something about it! We'll just see what the authorities say about this!" Although police were called, the demonstrators were engaging in no illegal activities, and no arrests were made. A sign was posted on the door: "We (heart) our jobs. -Starbucks crew." So true. There is no greater impetus to love one's job than the knowledge that any word against it will be met with reprisals.

On an unrelated note, we also met a group of students who are passing through Philadelphia on a 95-day walk from Miami to Boston in order to raise awareness about sexual violence. Their website is http://eastcoastwalkers.wordpress.com/

For more information on what's been going on at Starbucks, and recent decisions against Starbucks in California courts as well as by the ILRB, see http://www.starbucksunion.org/