Submitted on Sun, 01/15/2017 - 8:16pm
By DC Direct Action News - It's Going Down, January 14, 2017
Julia Flores is a 15 year employee of the P St Whole Foods who was fired from her job for organizing workers and informing them about such laws as the minimum wage. On the 13th of January, the IWW escalated the campaign demanding her job back by blocking the streets in front of another Whole Foods in Foggy Bottom.
Whole Foods is trying to claim that Julia stole an item worth less than $10 after working there for 15 years. Nobody is believing this spurious claim, but this is how Whole Foods is attempting to stave off legal proceedings for violating labor laws. Firing workers for attempting to organize a union is illegal but a common practice, employers always make up some other reason for firing and dare workers to prove otherwise in court.
In addition to the legal proceedings, the IWW is holding Whole Foods accountable to the public with actions like the Jan 13 street blockade and picket that educate the public, drive away business, and create public relations problems with the surrounding neighborhood. There is a strong probability that Whole Foods will be hearing from other businesses in the area whose customers had trouble getting to them.
Activists from DC Stampede (an animal rights group) joined the IWW in this protest as a solidarity matter. Whole Foods has come to the attention of DC Stampede and Direct Action Everywhere (XDXE) in the past for ripping off their customers with meat alleged to be “cruelty-free” that was proven by a video to be from ordinary factory farms. Still earlier, the P st Whole Foods (the one that fired Juilia) played a role in the gentrification of Shaw. They were the first grocery store in that area to keep dumpsters locked up and use compactors. They absolutely refused to give a single scrap of discarded food to homeless service organizations in that time period (circa 2007). Finally. anarchists raided the P st Whole Foods during the October Rebellion (fall 2007 IMF protests), expropriated a large amount of food, and served it to the needy. In short, Whole Foods should be considered a repeat offender, a “frequent flier” for social justice campaigns.
Submitted on Tue, 01/01/2008 - 4:00pm
On Friday, December 21st, around a dozen area IWW members,
overwhelmingly Starbucks Baristas, gathered outside of 1 of around 4
Dupont Circle Starbucks, braving the harsh winter elements in favor of
abolishing the wage system. Their mission: reveal the Starbucks PR
facade for what it is. Starbucks talks the social responsibility talk
but they employ fewer with healthcare than even Walmart, so often the
target of liberal scorn. A union members words are pertinent:
"I'm a mother of four and my Starbucks wage puts me well below the poverty line,"
Submitted on Tue, 02/20/2007 - 4:17pm
Seth Dietz, Starbucks barista and IWW member in Rockville Maryland, tells his story:
Life at Starbucks has improved for baristas in Rockville with a union! We’ve already had victories around the trash in our store, work hours, respect, and recycling. There is a stronger sense of community among workers. Union members can now walk through the doors with a spring in their step after letting the company know that we aren’t going to be pushed around anymore by bosses. Since declaring membership in the IWW Starbucks Workers Union the presence of a union in our store is bringing about real change.
Trash Problem Solved With Increased Staffing
Our store used to open with two people in the morning. The plan is now three people will be scheduled in the morning. The result is giving workers adequate time to complete their daily morning tasks including removing the trash heap in the back. We had wanted a second trashcan to create a safe walkway in the back of the store which was inundated with trash but it turns out there’s not really space for one. But adding another worker to help us we decided is a better solution! This victory is a direct result of “unofficial negotiations” with the District Manager after we went public with a demand to solve the trash problem.
Submitted on Fri, 09/15/2006 - 4:23pm
The DC IWW held a picket Monday, September 11, 2006 of Adams Morgan Starbucks from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm.
IWW members passed out 300 flyers and collected approximately 75 signatures for a petition demanding that the four fired workers (IWW Members Daniel Gross, Evan Winterscheidt, Joe Agnis Jr and Charls Fostrom) be rehired.
About 8 or 9 IWW members and supporters attended the picket and generally speaking a good time was had by all. The DC IWW is planning to picket another Starbucks in two weeks.
Submitted on Thu, 08/31/2006 - 2:25am
On August 28th, 5 members of the Washington DC Industrial Workers of the World (DC-IWW) and several local supporters met at Dupont Circle to stage an informational picket of the nearby Starbucks. Under stenciled picket signs emblazoned with "Starbucks: Rehire Fired Union Organizers!" and "Support the Starbucks Union," they handed out 300 flyers to a very sympathetic public, and distributed more than 20 CDs featuring Noam Chomsky's "Class War" lecture, and anarchist texts from Rudolph Rocker, Ricardo Flores Magon, Petr Kropotkin, and Mikhail Bakunin. Passersby and customers of the shop were asked for their signatures on a consumer petition demanding the rehiring of fired IWW union organizers Dainel Gross, Evan Winterscheidt, Joe Agins Jr., and Charles Fostrom. In 90 minutes, the DC-IWW obtained over 50 signatures. All in all, the event attracted the attention of hundreds in the DC area to the union-busting practices of the largest coffee chain in the world and demonstrated the committment of the Industrial Workers of the World to unionizing for the interests of the working class against arbitrary bosses.
The Dupont Circle Starbucks was selected for its location in one of the richest neighborhoods of DC, its numerous clientele, and the dense foot traffic of DuPont Circle, which ensured the highest number of persons engaged by the demonstrators. Before the picket, two members of the DC-IWW informed store workers of the impending protest. They responded positively, one worker chiming, "We support you."