09 December 2005
The first ever Starbucks' strike
Starbucks employs about 80,000 people worldwide, but only 300 of them are members of a union. A 100 of those are in New Zealand and they have had a one-hour strike - the first in the company's history.
I suppose that the problem with unionising something like Starbucks is that nobody ever leaves school and thinks that they will go and serve coffee for the next 50 years. So people take these jobs and refuse to join the union because they don't plan to stay there very long. Sadly for millions of our people, a McJob is all they are ever going to get, so joining a union and pushing for changes to the terms and conditions strikes me as common sense.
However, if people do this it also means that they are accepting that the real jobs are never going to return, and that serving coffee is all they will ever do. Maybe that frightens them? It certainly does me.