BOSTON – Starbucks workers in Brighton go on strike on Tuesday after saying they were forced to work under “unsafe working conditions.” According to Boston Starbucks Workers United, water from the ceiling and light fixtures leaked onto the counters, floors and espresso machines on Monday.
Over a dozen workers and supporters could be seen with signs outside the coffee bar in Cleveland Circle.
“We currently have our own water function in the store. We have some rain coming down from the ceiling that extends over our espresso bar and the part of our store where we serve customers. That makes it difficult no matter what our customers have. “bought to serve. them helpful and adequate. And it also wastes water on our floor, which is very uncertain,” said barista Natalie Borg.
The union said there had been leaks over the years and that management had been aware of the problems but failed to resolve them fully.
The store closed early Monday night. It most recently passed inspection on March 10, 2022 with minor violations.
The union also said it was unclear whether workers would receive disaster pay for the closure. “We believe that all partners should be protected from any loss of wages due to improper building maintenance and circumstances beyond our control,” read a letter to management.
The strike is expected to end at 9pm on Tuesday.
Workers will return on Wednesday as long as “all necessary maintenance is completed to ensure the safety of our partners and community members.”
According to a spokesman for Starbucks, the leak was caused by a drainage problem with the HVAC system. The store was closed at 9:15, about half an hour after the problem began. They also said the management verbally reviewed the disaster pay policy before the workers left.
A statement from Starbucks said in part: “To ensure the safety of our partners and customers, local executives immediately closed the store yesterday, allowing partners to pick up guards at other stores. Store executives shared details of our disaster pay policy with partners before leaving the store. This policy has also been shared with partners on two other occasions this year. ”
in Massachusetts are still relatively new. This particular store has only had union representation for a few weeks. The strike is the first of its kind in the state.