2,000 Starbucks Employees Are Going On A 1-Day Strike

Excited about today's annual Red Cup Day at your local Starbucks location? Not so fast — you might be handed a different type of cup, depending on where you live. That's because frustrated Starbucks employees are striking and handing out red cups branded with the Starbucks Workers United union logo instead, and calling it the "Red Cup Rebellion" strike, CNN reports.

The strike, which is said to involve 2,000 employees across 112 locations, could not come at a worse time for the embattled coffee chain, as Red Cup Day is one of the most hectic business days of the year. For those of you who have not yet been indoctrinated as one of the Starbucks faithful, on Red Cup Day customers who order a fall or holiday beverage are gifted a reusable red cup for free, per Starbucks. The 16-ounce, limited-edition container is available while supplies last. Of course, that is provided there are employees present to pass them out in the first place.

Today's strikes are taking place at the locations that have voted to unionize, and are scattered all over the country, according to CNBC. It seems the employees are scalding mad about how the chain has been treating them, and have responded by organizing the largest protest to date.

Here's why Starbucks employees are striking on Red Cup Day

The Starbucks union battle continues. The strike was planned for this ultra-important day to "call attention to anti-union activities," supporter Tyler Keeling told CNN. The union site doesn't mince words when it describes the alleged anti-union activities that inspired the strike. A press release on the Starbucks Workers United site claims that Starbucks fired 15 union leaders in its Buffalo-area stores "in retaliation for their union efforts."

This comes as talks with Starbucks to coordinate unions have allegedly fallen flat. Despite hundreds of stores voting in favor of unionization, no contracts have been ironed out and signed to date, despite the fact that many of these votes took place nearly a year ago (per CNN). In fact, the SWU press release indicates that efforts to work together seem empty, noting that the first bargaining sessions at a local store saw, "Starbucks personnel and their lawyers leave within minutes, refusing to bargain in good faith and attempting to charge the union for non-existing booking expenses."

Starbucks unions are forming so workers can "have a democratic voice," per Starbucks Workers United. The organization believes coffee industry workers are generally "overworked and underpaid," and should have improved working conditions. The group also describes itself as "pro-Starbucks and pro-union," with the goal of turning it into a place that can be a "sustainable career."