Friday, July 11, 2008

The following item is from the Anarkismo website, though its original source is the Workers' Solidarity Movement of Ireland. It's about recent solidarity actions in support of sacked Starbucks workers in Spain and the USA.

Protests in Ireland against Starbucks anti-unionism
Starbucks in the USA sacked a barista active in the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW).Cole Dorsey was fired after two years of service while he was coordinating a union recruitment drive at Starbucks stores in Grand Rapids, Michigan.In Spain, a woman named Monica was fired in April from a Starbucks in Seville for her activity on behalf of the Confederacion Nacional de Trabajadores (CNT). Anarchists in Ireland joined a global day of action to protest against this.

Dublin Report:
From 12 pm a small group of us decided to leaflet inside some of the other Dublin Starbucks preliminary to the main demonstration on the one in Dame Street. We started upstairs in BT2 Grafton Street – some leaflets were got into the hands of staff behind the bar – but a BT2 security guard is hot on our heels snaffling and crumpling paper as he goes. No security or management presence at all in Dawson street where we get a more leisurely stroll and distribute a good number of leaflets – staff and customers read with interest. Similarly in a fairly deserted Starbucks in the IFSC.
Finally we get back to Dame Street and do another quick run around inside. A minute later we are greeted by Irene; district manager of Starbuck’s Dublin. She is icily and formally polite informing us that we are welcome to protest peacefully but not to leaflet inside the premises and to check in any time for refreshments . We decline the offer. Then she turns paranoid asking us if we are recording her (though we have neither the equipment or the inclination!)– turns back in and is not seen again.
The crowd in Dame Street quickly swells to over 30: with WSM members and many other activists; mostly but not exclusively libertarian. The atmosphere is cheerful through out and people manage to engage with workers on several occasions. Encouraged we head back to Dawson Street and again up to 30 people throng around it; a very strong presence at a quite small entrance.
Overall 650 leaflets distributed by 40 to 50 people over the entire day. Perhaps some seeds were sown and, at least, some of the workers inside might not see anarchists as coming complete with horns and tails.
Starbucks recently announced the closure of 500 restaurants across America with the loss of over 12,000 jobs. As the recession begins to bite there has surely never been a better time to get organised.
Belfast Report:
Despite the miserable weather around 12 people joined the picket and leafleted passers by and potential customers outside the coffee shop. At the start of the picket 3 people had gone inside to leaflet customers and staff. There was a very positive response to the picket ,however, one person was falsely accused of assaulting a Starbuck's member of staff after leafleting staff and customers inside. If this is Starbucks treatment towards a normal picket, one has to ask questions regarding their attitude towards their own workers? This threatening behaviour by Starbucks bosses towards the picket will not be tolerated and will only increase our determination and resolve to raise awareness, oppose Starbucks union busting activities and build solidarity with fellow Starbucks workers.
Solidarity is Strength!

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