Saturday, July 5, 2008

German July 5th Actions

The FAU-IWA organized information pickets at a total of 40 Starbucks in 16 towns all over Germany. The customers reactions were very positive in general, many people not entering or even leaving the Starbucks once they heard about the working conditions and the union busting attempts of Starbucks. There was as well lots of sympathies from many baristas, though some others were inimitated by the presence of their bosses and team leaders. We will see wether Starbucks understands what will happen to them, once they do not re-instate Monica and Cole and stop the repression against other workers and their unions. The FAU locals are very motivated by the experiences they made during this Glocal day of action and will return to the streets whenever solidarity is needed.

FAU-IWA unions were picketing one or more Starbucks in the following towns: Aachen, Berlin, Bonn, Braunschweig, Bremen, Darmstadt, Dortmund, Duisburg, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt/Main, Münster, Stuttgart, Hamburg, München, Nuremberg and Wuppertal.

This are some examples from local information pickets:


Six activists picketing Starbucks. Many leaflets handed over to customers and workers and a couple of liters of Zapatista coffee served free of charge to those interested. Several baristas showed their sympathy once the team leader did not notice. Lots of interesting discussion with customers.


Picketing five Starbucks. Many people listened to the speeches, as three of the Starbucks are located in a heavily crowded areas with lots of street cafes etc. Many people interested and a lot of discussion.


About a dozen FAUistas took to the street, picketing five Starbucks in the center of the city. Many leaflets handed over and banner mounted.


More than 15 comrades from three syndicates at the information stall close to the biggest Starbucks at the Königstraße. Several hundred leaflets distributed. People mostly very interested in the matter. A woman whos friend got sacked by Starbucks told us she will show up at the next branch meeting.


The FAU Braunschweig picketed Starbucks at the ECE shopping mall. After 35 minutes security guards forced us to leave. We then distributed our leaflets outside the mall and had some interesting talk with Starbuck baristas there. One of them told us, that he already knew about the Global day of action.


Members of the Düsseldorf and Krefeld FAU locals entered 7 Starbucks in the city center and distributed leaflets. Düsseldorf is the number three "Starbucks city" in Germany with a total of 15 Starbucks. The bosses tried to ban us but could not prevent us from informing the customers.


Members of the Munich FAU education syndicate handed out flyers to baristas and customers in five Starbucks at central Munich. The reactions of the customers were unanimously positive. There were as well lots of tourists around that already knew Starbucks from other countries and many people were quite upset about the union busting practise of Starbucks. Most baristas were somewhat anxious while the team leaders were around. The comrades from Munich say, that this was a very positive experience and that they will repeat it whenever action is needed.


Information picket in front of the Bremen Starbucks during more than four hours, including a "Food not bombs" style distribution of coffee from Zapatista cooperatives. Reactions were very positive, there were even people that did not take the leaflets until we told them, that this was against Starbucks. The manager finally decided to give away gratis coffee in order to keep the few customers. Not a good situation for Starbucks plans to open two more shops in Bremen later this year.


Members of the FAU-IWA Bonn branch and of Anarchosyndikat Bonn/Köln, together with others activists distributed some 400 leaflets to Starbucks customers an the Bonn main Starbucks. Another FAU-IWA action at a second Starbucks could not take place as the Starbucks was closed.