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October 16, 2023

A Substack reader wrote in over the weekend to ask if what she’d heard about Starbucks --- that they publicly had come out on the side of the Palestinians --- was true.  Here’s what we found:

No, it’s not Starbucks that did this, but the union representing about 9,000 of their baristas, Workers United, which is an affiliate of the huge, left-wing union SEIU, the Service Employees International Union.  On the SEIU website, they’re described as “a union of about 2 million diverse members in healthcare, the public sector and property services who believe in and fight for our Vision for a Just Society:  where all workers are valued and all people respected --- no matter where we come from or what color we are; where all families and communities can thrive; and where we leave a better and more equitable world for generations to come.”  This is them…

It’s impossible to reconcile their stated mission with their stated support for Palestine, as Palestine certainly does not value and respect all people, nor does it want all of them to thrive.  In fact, when it comes to Jewish people, the leaders of Palestine have made it clear that they do not value them at all and, in fact, want them all dead.  A “better and more equitable world,” according to the attackers, is one in which there are no Jews.  Do the “progressive” leaders of SEIU realize this?  Is a world without Jews part of SEIU’s “Vision for a Just Society”?

Our ideal vision for a just society would include the Palestinians learning to co-exist with Jews and stop attacking them.  If only that would happen, there would be peace, and all of Israel would thrive.  But we would be dreaming, as they’ve made it clear that this is not what they want and that they will never stop attacking Jews.

At the website for Workers United, they say their union is “built on a foundation of social justice.”  They list the various industries they serve, including “coffee shops” but also “apparel...distribution, fitness, food service, hospitality, industrial laundry, manufacturing, non-profit [and] textiles.”

“Join our movement,” they say, which includes speaking out for “social and economic justice.”  Also,  “we believe in empowerment through education, to promote the economic, social and political environments [aside:  oh, yes, political] of our communities.  And this:  “We are a community of people across borders, boundaries and creed, bound by a pursuit of a better life for every individual.”  Not EVERY individual, it seems.

There’s currently nothing about solidarity with Palestine on the Workers United home page, but, as the NEW YORK POST reported a few days ago, they had tweeted (X’d?) “Solidarity with Palestine!” to their nearly 100,000 followers on Tuesday.  That message was deleted, but their account later “liked” a tweet from one of its members saying, “Once again, free Palestine.”

Florida Senator Rick Scott blasted the union and said, “This is disgusting.  Every American should condemn the atrocities that Iran-backed Hamas terrorists committed in Israel.  He called for a boycott of Starbucks “until its leadership strongly denounces and takes action against this horrific support of terrorism.”

But Starbucks, the Seattle-based company, quickly did that. 

“We unequivocally condemn acts of terrorism, hate and violence, and disagree with the statements and views expressed by Workers United and its members. Workers United’s words and actions belong to them, and them alone,” the company said.

SWU and SEIU “do not represent the company’s views, positions or beliefs,” it added.

The POST reached out to Workers United for comment, and they passed the buck, pointing to a statement from the president of SEIU saying, “The violence in Israel and Palestine is unconscionable.  SEIU stands with all who are suffering, while strongly condemning anti-Semitism, Islamophobia & hate in all forms.  I pray for a swift resolution and a future where all in the region can be happy, safe & live with dignity.”

Again, it is not possible to reconcile the condemnation of anti-Semitism with support of Palestine.  They will never co-exist with Jews in a happy, safe and dignified future.  The only way such a future could be realized would be for Jews to be able to trust them never to attack again.  Not happening.

It’s important to note that Starbucks is not affiliated with this union, Workers United, at all.  And many Starbucks employees in a number of states are pursuing decertification petitions to extricate themselves from the union.  National Right to Work Foundation President Mark Mix says that “as Starbucks and other coffee employees across the country continue to flee the union’s power, it’s becoming clearer that the SBWU’s campaign is rooted more in generating political buzz and expanding union power than actually standing up for workers’ interests.”

On October 10 in Oklahoma, a right-to-work state, Starbucks employee Amy Smith submitted a petition to the National Labor Relations Board asking them to hold a vote among her colleagues to remove Starbucks Workers United union from the workplace.  She’s being represented pro bono by staff attorneys at the National Right to Work foundation.  From the story:

“Smith’s petition contains signatures from enough of her coworkers to prompt a union decertification election under the NLRB’s rules. While Oklahoma is a Right to Work state, meaning SBWU bosses cannot compel Smith or her coworkers to pay union dues or fees as a condition of staying employed, SBWU is still empowered by federal law to impose a union contract on all employees of the coffee shop, including those who oppose the union. A successful decertification vote would strip union officials of that power.”

Amen!  We wish Ms. Smith luck in her pursuit.  Full story here…


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