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(en) US, NYC, IWW* Starbucks Union Co-Founder Daniel Gross Facing Termination Pending "Investigation"

Date Sun, 30 Jul 2006 09:21:13 +0300


Sisters and Brothers: We need your solidarity now. Daniel Gross, an
organizer in the IWW Starbucks Workers Union, is being "investigated"
by the company over a protest he and his co-workers participated in
to support another IWW barista, Evan Winterscheidt. Evan was suspended
and faced termination because of his union activity and his fellow union
members went to protest outside his store to demand that he not be fired.
Pending the outcome of Starbucks' "investigation" into Daniel's participation
in this act of mutual aid, Starbucks will decide whether or not to fire him.
The decision could take place any day so please take action now.
Over two years ago, Daniel Gross and a group of co-workers formed the first
union of Starbucks baristas in the United States. Since then, the
campaign has grown to include union members publicly
fighting for a living wage and respect on the job at
six Starbucks locations. Baristas interested in
joining the IWW Starbucks Workers Union are currently
employed at locations around the country. Despite a
vicious anti-union campaign waged by Starbucks and its
Chairman Howard Schultz, the Wobbly baristas have won
three wage increases, more consistent scheduling, and
have remedied many individual grievances with the
company.

Regrettably, with the campaign to organize Starbucks
growing at an unprecedented pace, the company is
seeking to erase all our gains thus far and break our
union. The company recently terminated two IWW
baristas in retaliation for their union activity
including Evan. Now the coffee giant is going after
Daniel. Starbucks District manager, Allison Marx, who
is well known among IWW members as an unscrupulous
union-buster, came to the store with other management
officials during the protest for Evan on July 15th.
As Marx approached the store, Daniel expressed his
support for Evan by demanding he not be fired. Such
mutual aid and support is the cornerstone of the right
to organize.

Two weeks after the protest, Daniel was brought to the
back of his store for an interrogation by his District
Manager and Partner & Asset Protection Investigator,
Marc Stella. Stella attempted to get Daniel to sign a
document that said he could be interrogated as long as
necessary and that he could be fired for failing to
cooperate with the investigation. After Stella denied
Daniel a requested IWW witness, he proceeded to ask
about the events at the protest for Evan. Daniel
objected to the interrogation as interference with
protected concerted activity but had no problem
declaring that yes indeed he was there and did express
his support for Evan to all who entered the store
including District Manager Marx. Stella insinuated
that Daniel's support of Evan directed towards Marx
was threatening. But standing up for your co-worker
in a peaceful protest is no "threat" by any reasonable
standard.

Daniel has worked at Starbucks for over three years
and has labored tirelessly to improve life on the job
for all Starbucks workers. He doesn't deserve to be
fired for taking a stand in solidarity with his
co-worker and fellow union member. But this struggle
is about more than one worker and his job. This
struggle goes to the heart of whether workers at
multinational retailers like Wal-Mart, McDonald's, and
Starbucks can exercise their right to free association
or are destined to languish as subjects of their
employers.

In 2004, when Daniel Gross was under attack by
Starbucks, you responded with breathtaking solidarity
and saved Daniel's job. Please stand with us again.
Together let us show Starbucks the dignity of the
working class and the beauty of our labor movement:

1) Participate in the e-mail action campaign at
http://starbucksunion.org/node/1005 and encourage
others to participate as well

2) Call Regional Director Jim McDermet at 917-207-8660
to demand that Daniel Gross not be fired and that the
right of workers to organize be respected

3) Take other creative actions

www.starbucksunion.org July 29, 2006
=================================
* An antiauthoritarian anticapitalist syndicate
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