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Starbucks Workers' Union Claims Coffee Giant Has BANNED Pride Decorations In Some Stores!

Starbucks Worker's Union Claims Coffee Giant Has Banned Pro-LGBT Decorations In Some Stores During Pride Month??

The union representing Starbucks coffee store workers nationwide is claiming the coffee giant has banned LGBTQIA-friendly displays and decorations in some stores right in the middle of Pride month.

On Tuesday, Starbucks Workers United took to Twitter to reveal their displeasure at the supposed ban. However, a spokesperson for the company straight-up denied there was any ban at all — so what’s going on?!

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This all started with a series of tweets posted by the union’s official account on Tuesday morning. In a thread posted for their nearly 100,000 Twitter followers, the union claimed (below):

“BREAKING: In the middle of Pride Month, Starbucks BANS Pride decorations in stores across the United States. For the last two weeks, Starbucks workers have taken to social media to report that the company is no longer allowing Pride decorations in-store. This seems to be the first year the publicly ‘pro-LGBTQ+’ company has taken this kind of stance.”

Then, while referencing retail giant Target — another national brand that has altered their Pride merchandise and displays for political reasons in recent weeks — the union went on:

“Taking a cue from Target, who bowed to anti-LGBTQ+ pressure and removed pride merchandise, corporate and district management are taking down the pride decorations that have become an annual tradition in stores. In union stores, where Starbucks claims they are unable to make ‘unilateral changes’ without bargaining, the company took down Pride decorations and flags anyway — ignoring their own anti-union talking point.”

The union also used this apparent ban as evidence for the coffee company’s apparent disregard for the LGBTQ+ community. They cited prior instances where health benefits for transgender workers were apparently abruptly affected by changes to Starbucks’ insurance policies:

“Starbucks is powered by many queer workers, but management has failed to materially support the LGBTQ+ community. Last October, some workers have reported that their transgender benefit plan changed, causing them to pay out of pocket fees and lose access to certain providers. If Starbucks was a true ally, they would stand up for us, especially during a time when LGBTQ+ people are under attack. A company that cares wouldn’t turn their back on the LGBTQ+ community to protect their already astronomically high profits.”

You can see the full thread (below):

It’s not just a Twitter thread making that claim about stores banning Pride displays, either. Late last week, that union also filed an official labor complaint against the corporation with the National Labor Relations Board.

Them reported on that filing, which claimed Starbucks bosses allegedly “unilaterally eliminated and/or prohibited” workers from putting up any Pride decorations at unionized coffee shops in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. That outlet reports Starbucks’ management team also “refused to bargain with the union about the decision” after allegedly banning the Pride decorations in the first place.

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Per the Daily Beast, a spokesperson for Starbucks Workers United claimed coffee shop employees in Oklahoma City were banned from putting up Pride decorations because “it was a safety issue related to the recent attacks on Target.” That outlet also reports workers at coffee shops in Massachusetts were told they “didn’t have any labor hours to decorate for Pride.”

But for what it’s worth, the company denies these claims. Starbucks spokesperson Andrew Trull spoke to the New Republic about the allegations on Tuesday, and said the brand stands with LGBTQIA+ employees and customers:

“We unwaveringly support the LGBTQIA2+ community. There has been no change to any policy on this matter and we continue to encourage our store leaders to celebrate with their communities including for US Pride month in June.”

Trull went on to voice his concern over the “false information” being spread about Starbucks:

“We’re deeply concerned by false information that is being spread especially as it relates to our inclusive store environments, our company culture, and the benefits we offer our partners.”


Between this controversy, the aforementioned decision by Target to pull LGBT-friendly merchandise, and things like the Bud Light boycott related to the fallout from transgender star Dylan Mulvaney‘s alignment with that brand, it’s definitely an unsettling time right now in America.

To say the least…

[Image via WENN]

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Jun 14, 2023 07:40am PDT