starbucks cupWe have always been skeptical of coffee giant Starbucks.  Not only did we have to spend our adolescent years watching them sweep into our small towns and knock out all of the independently owned mom and pop cafes we loved, but then we had to watch them claim to be Fair Trade when in reality a very small percentage of the coffee they brew is actually Fair Trade! It just was too disingenuous for us to swallow. Yes, they claim to be some big Fair Trade hero, but who’s a hero when a customer has to specifically ask for Fair Trade (shouldn’t it just be their normal brew??) and then when the customer does take the trouble to ask, they are given a hard time by the employees. Sorry, but that doesn’t seem very supportive of Fair Trade although their marketing would most certainly tell you otherwise.

Still, Starbucks’ contribution to Fair Trade is not insignificant and it did make us think a little more positively about the corporate behemoth and its ethics.  Maybe they can turn-around after all and focus on making a greater, more positive impact on the earth and its people?

That was until we heard from our good friends at MoveOn.org that Starbucks has been quite active recently with union busting activity!  In their own words….

starbucks unionYou’ve probably heard about the illegal, anti-union tactics of retail giants like Wal-mart. But did you know that Starbucks has been found guilty of those same tactics?

Howard Schultz, Starbucks’ billionaire owner, has made it a priority to keep unions out of Starbucks. But our friends at Brave New Films are fighting back.  They’ve put together a video documenting the harassment and intimidation that Starbucks workers have faced.

Check out the surprising video below and sign the memo telling Schultz that Starbucks must let workers exercise their rights and unionize.

Brave New Films is working to get 50,000 signatures before Congress votes on the Employee Free Choice Act. If they do, they’ll deliver the memo to Schultz to send the clear message that corporations should support this vital legislation.

So please check out the powerful video now and send the memo.

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