Posts tagged Cornell University’s Worker Institute

    Report: baristas and fast-food workers behind sharp uptick in strikes in 2022

    February 23, 2023 // Baristas, cashiers, cooks and servers were involved in at least 144 strikes and lockouts, a third of the work stoppages that the report documented. The overwhelming majority of those work stoppages were led by organizers from Starbucks Workers United campaign and the Fight for $15, two national labor movements that have made significant gains in the past few years. More than 278 Starbucks stores have voted to unionize since 2021, and the Fight for $15 campaign has gained political traction in state legislatures, most recently in California. While fast-food and service workers were particularly active last year, they were far from the only food industry workers to protest, walk off the job, or go on strike. The report documents four confirmed work stoppages led by farmworkers, including two strikes in the strawberry fields of Santa Maria, California. In May 2022, at least 100 strawberry pickers walked off the job at J & G Berry Farms and demanded their employer pay them $3.50 for every box of strawberries they picked, which amounted to a 66 percent raise. J & G Berry Farms offered to pay its employees $2.20 per box instead, a 4 percent raise that workers say they agreed to because they could not afford to miss another day of work. Hundreds of food transportation workers also organized work stoppages. The report found that employees at Sysco, one of the largest food distribution companies in the world, went on strike at least five times last year. In April 2022, more than 200 of the company’s drivers refused to make food deliveries to regular customers in the Washington-D.C.-Metropolitan Area, which included the U.S. Capitol and the White House.