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‘I’d really prefer it if he stayed out of our way’: Starbucks union organizers lash out at CEO’s promise to work behind the counter

New Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan, wearing a green Starbucks apron, shares a laugh with a Starbucks barista behind the counter of a store.Laxman Narasimhan officially took over as CEO of Starbucks on March 20. He spent the first six months immersing himself with the brand, including training as a barista.


  • Starbucks’ new CEO Laxman Narasimhan announced he’ll spend a half-day every month pulling coffees.
  • Organizers say they’d prefer if he focused on halting anti-union practices
  • Seven Starbucks stores announced they have begun the unionization process Thursday.

Starbucks’ new CEO Laxman Narasimhan has novel plans to spend a half-day every month behind the counter as a barista, but union organizers at the company aren’t buying it.

Organizers and pro-union workers at Starbucks have come out since Narasimhan’s first day on the job Monday with a slate of criticisms — including his decision to try to put himself in their shoes. 

“I’d really prefer it if he stayed out of our way and instead spent 40hrs learning about worker’s rights and how NOT to commit thousands of unfair labor practice violations in a year,” Starbucks union organizer Michelle Eisen tweeted Friday. 

—Michelle Eisen (@michelleeisen) March 24, 2023


Earlier this week Narasimhan sent a letter to staff obtained by Insider which focused on digital innovation, company culture, and the “partner experience.” He did not address the ongoing labor movement at Starbucks, which has resulted in the unionization of hundreds of US stores, Insider’s Nancy Luna reported.

During the annual Starbucks shareholder meeting Thursday, Starbucks Workers United announced seven new stores had filed for union elections. The organizing stores span six states, from Kentucky to Colorado. Workers at those stores said they hope the move shows that the labor movement at Starbucks isn’t lost on Middle America. 

“If Howard Schultz or Laxman Narasimhan think this movement is limited to college towns and coastal cities, they’ve got another thing coming,” Lizzy Prichard, a Starbucks organizer in Ohio, said in a press release. “Union Starbucks partners are here to stay.”


Read the original article on Business Insider
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