Activists to join annual Starbucks shareholder meeting in Seattle
Orlando—Today, 47 organizations that fight for the rights of LGBTQ+ people, immigrants and people of color released a letter calling on Starbucks to demand HMSHost fix problems that have been reported at its airport Starbucks locations across the country. The organizations include the National LGBTQ Task Force, Repairers of the Breach, One Orlando Alliance, African Communities Together, One Colorado, and the Transgender Law Center. Activists announced plans to join HMSHost Starbucks baristas and join Starbucks annual shareholder meeting on March 18.
“I’ve heard these HMSHost Starbucks workers describe their experiences first-hand about a hostile work environment fueled by homophobia and transphobia,” said Christopher Cuevas, Executive Director QLATINX. “The courageous HMSHost Starbucks workers at our airports, and those around the country, are taking a stand and saying enough is enough.”
In recent weeks, LGBTQ+, immigrant and Black baristas employed by HMSHost at airport Starbucks have spoken out about mistreatment and poverty. A report released last week by hospitality workers union UNITE HERE, entitled “One Job Should Be Enough: Inequality at Starbucks,” details the issues faced by airport Starbucks workers.
The letter to Starbucks released today reads:
“at Starbucks stores at airports across the country, which are operated by HMSHost, Starbucks’ commitment to creating the “third place” – “public spaces where everyone feels like they belong,” is not being realized…. HMSHost operates every Starbucks store in North American airports. We call on Starbucks to use whatever power it has to ensure these issues are resolved at HMSHost-operated Starbucks’ stores across the United States.”
“LGBTQ workers and allies, workers of all races and different religions, immigrants, refugees, and people born here, are all organizing together to address these problems and improve their lives,” said long-time labor and LGBTQ+ activist Cleve Jones. “We have reached out to Starbucks about these issues. Unfortunately, Starbucks has not agreed to meet.”
QLATINX, One Orlando Alliance, UNITE HERE, faith and community leaders gathered today by the Starbucks near downtown Orlando on Summerlin Ave to deliver a copy of the letter to Starbucks, and sent a copy to Starbucks executives in Seattle.