JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — If you’re used to getting a coffee from the Starbucks on San Jose Boulevard and Ricky Drive, you may have had to skip your morning run because it was closed.
Workers were on strike demanding a wage increase and they were out by the main entrance with neon signs with messages like “Where’s my livable wage?” and “People over profit.”
“I come here every once in a while just to get some breakfast or whatnot,” said 14-year-old Anna Alvarez.
But many regulars had to skip their morning run, met with silence at the drive-thru and an empty store.
“This is unusual for this place,” Alvarez said.
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These unionized workers used their day to strike and demand a wage increase now.
“Since October, they said we would be getting summer raises,” said Mason Boykin, who goes by the pronouns he/they, are with the union Starbucks Workers United, and have worked with Starbucks for the past four years.
Below is an update Boykin says Starbucks sent out, which promises pay for workers (known by Starbucks as Partners) would be bumped to $15 an hour. For workers where there is no union, it’s effective Monday, August 1. At unionized shops, it would be effective August 29.
“The idea of withholding the benefits is to scare partners away from unionizing,” they said.
Right now, Boykin said workers’ pay starts at around $12 an hour.
“We can’t even afford to buy the drinks that we make,” they pointed out.
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Customers were surprised, but supportive.
“They work hard so please pay them,” said Chandra Carter.
Theresa Alvarez added, “They’re absolutely right on, for standing up for themselves.”
“You should go for what you want to get,” echoed daughter Anna.
And even though managers opened the shop before noon, that’s what they continued to do.
“It’s about the community we’ve built,” Boykin said. “So I’m gonna keep going until there’s no store left to fight for.”
Action News Jax has reached out to Starbucks for comment. We are waiting to hear back.