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(en) US, NYC, IWW* Starbucks Union Organizer to Stand Trial in RNC Case

From Worker <a-infos-en@ainfos.ca>
Date Wed, 24 Nov 2004 16:33:31 +0100 (CET)


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Industrial Workers of the World IU/660 November 24, 2004 Contact: starbucksunion@yahoo.com
Starbucks Union Organizer to Stand Trial in RNC Case
New York, NY- Daniel Gross, a co-founder of the IWW
Starbucks Workers Union and an employee at the
company, is set to stand trial for disorderly conduct
and resisting arrest at a Republican National
Convention protest. Gross participated in a peaceful
union rally in front of the Starbucks store where he
works to protest the Bush Administration’s support for
anti-union actions at the world’s largest coffee
chain. He faces a maximum sentence of over six months
in jail. The union is asking its friends and allies
to attend the trial in support of the right to
protest. The trial will begin on January 14 at 9:30
a.m. in Part C of the 100 Centre Street Courthouse in
Downtown Manhattan.

“Once again, Starbucks has proven it will do or say
anything to attempt to break our union,” Mr. Gross
said. “Chairman Howard Schultz will likely use a
conviction against me as a fear-tactic to deter
workers from joining the IWW to improve their life on
the job. Multiple videotapes as well as eyewitness
testimony will demonstrate that NYPD officers
concocted these charges against me- a New York City
jury will no doubt see through the Bush/Bloomberg hype
that prevailed during the Republican National
Convention.”

The only attendees arrested at the protest were both
union workers at the store. Prosecutors later dropped
charges against Starbucks barista Anthony Polanco, an
outspoken supporter of the organizing effort. Company
managers were witnessed giving information to NYPD
detectives before the protest began. Starbucks has a
history of making false allegations about IWW rallies
in New York City.

“Daniel Gross is being prosecuted for political
reasons,” maintained his attorney Leonard Weinglass, a
noted advocate for controversial defendants. The DA
and the NYPD are desecrating the right to assembly
guaranteed by the First Amendment.”

Hundreds of people have already signed a petition
demanding that the District Attorney drop all charges
against Gross. Support has come from overseas as
well. Last Saturday, union members in Edinburgh and
Glasgow demonstrated at Starbucks shops in solidarity
with the Starbucks Workers Union and Mr. Gross.

The Union has called for all charges to be dropped
against RNC protesters.

Starbucks workers in New York City have sparked a
national campaign to organize the chain. Workers are
coming together to rise out of poverty, put an end to
understaffing, and achieve a guaranteed number of work
hours per week.

The Industrial Workers of the World IU/660 is a
non-partisan union of retail workers fighting for
dignified employment conditions in the industry.
==========================
* [Ed. Note: IWW - Industrial Workers of the World is antiauthoritarian
anticapitalist direct action syndicate.]


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