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Workers Form First Union at Starbucks in Latin America

For Immediate Release:
IWW Starbucks Workers Union,

Workers Form First Union at Starbucks in Latin America

The SWU Applauds the Efforts of Baristas in Chile and Pledges Close Cooperation

New York, NY (05/05/2009)- The IWW Starbucks Workers Union has enthusiastically welcomed the first union of Starbucks workers in Latin America and has pledged support for the new endeavor.  Starbucks baristas and shift supervisors in Chile have organized for respect on the job, a dependable work schedule, and a living wage, among other issues.  Supporters of the new union, Sindicato de Trabajadores de Starbucks Coffee Chile S.A., can learn more and lend support on their website

"Around the world, Starbucks jobs must work for hard-working baristas, not just senior executives," said Chrissy Cogswell, a Starbucks employee in Chicago and a member of the IWW Starbucks Workers Union.  "The Chilean baristas have created a voice at work to make sure their contribution to the company is respected."

Missteps by management at Starbucks including over expansion and lack of value on the menu have resulted in serious hardships for baristas.  Starbucks workers are facing mass layoffs and employees who manage to avoid losing their jobs are seeing their hours drastically cut.

Founded in 2004, the IWW Starbucks Workers Union  is an organization of over 300 current and former baristas, bussers, and shift supervisors united for a secure work schedule and an independent voice on the job.  Through direct action, public education, and legal advocacy, the SWU organizes for a Starbucks which rewards the hard work of employees with respect and dignity.  The union has made important systemic improvements at the company and has successfully defended baristas that have been treated unfairly.

The Industrial Workers of the World is a member-operated global labor union open to all working people.