SEIU 1021

Bad time to be a bully: Starbucks accused of false allyship, anti-LGBTQIA+ actions
Why is a supposedly progressive company taking down Pride decorations?


While Pride month, a month dedicated to elevating and celebrating the LGBTQIA+ community and commemorating the 1969 Stonewall riots, is being nationally recognized, Starbucks, a self-proclaimed “ally,” is accused of stifling workers’ freedom of expression and is once again embroiled in a controversy of its own making.

Starbucks workers across the country are reporting pushback to Pride celebrations, from refusing to allow employees to fly Pride flags to even removing Pride decorations.

Starbucks, a supposedly progressive company, denies these claims, but there is ample documented evidence from customers and workers. Multiple photos, videos, and testimonies make these assertions hard to contradict.

So why now, after years of clearly performative corporate allyship, is Starbucks backtracking?

“Once again, Starbucks is failing to live up to its supposed values. On one hand, they say they support LGBTQIA+ rights, and with the other, they are pulling down Pride flags. So, which is it? They are not and have not been acting according to their supposed principles, and we refuse to back down and stand quietly by while they continue to intimidate and devalue their workers,” said Vice President of Organizing at SEIU Local 1021, Brandon Dawkins.

Is it just a coincidence that many of the organized Starbucks workers identify as LGBTQIA+? Is this just another strategy to silence and intimidate workers’ voices? Or is this self-styled bastion of corporate progressivism finally buckling to right-wing, anti-LGBTQIA+ sentiment? No matter what the cause, working people won’t be divided, and we won’t back down until Starbucks, and every other employer, is a safe place to work, where workers can express themselves without shame or fear while making a fair living.