May 24, 2024 #1 Local News, Information and Event Source for the Century City/Westwood areas.

UCLA Students Call For End of On-Campus Starbucks Contracts

Student Association Passes Resolution Supporting Unionization

By Keemia Zhang

UCLA students have called for the termination of on-campus contracts with Starbucks, as reported by The Daily Bruin.

Following 80 complaints of federal labor law violations and 500 unfit labor practice charges against the coffee chain, the Undergraduate Student Association Council (USAC) passed a unanimous resolution last month, urging the Associated Students UCLA Board of Directors (ASUCLA) not to renew Starbucks’ on-campus leases. 

The ASUCLA stated that the USAC had not met with the association to discuss the issue and that the motion had not been forwarded to their committee for review. The association has the power to renew or terminate existing deals – but insists that “None of ASUCLA’s coffeehouses are Starbucks-operated.”

However, ASUCLA entered into a contract with Starbucks in 2019 to distribute their products across on-campus catering and cafe services. 

The resolution cited the unionization of Starbucks nationwide, alongside the companies’ alleged and subsequent legal efforts to union bust, as reasoning for their expulsion. The USAC stated it “stands in solidarity with unionized Starbucks workers across the country and demands that the company meet workers at the bargaining table in good faith.” 

The USAC issued a previous resolution in May in support of Starbucks Workers United, a labor union pursuing efforts for a more equitable workforce – including an initiative to ensure workers have a livable wage. UCLA students who have worked at the chain and participated in unionization efforts have expressed support for the resolution, citing the company’s pushback against the labor movement. 

Political science student Klara Daniaud, who had participated in unionizing her previous Starbucks in Sunnyvale, told The Daily Bruin that she believed she was fired before she could transfer to Starbucks’ Westwood location in order to prevent further labor mobilization.

Geography student David Ramirez, who advocates for the rights of Starbucks workers at UCLA, expressed disdain for Starbucks’ poor scheduling and understaffed conditions and hoped that the university’s influence could be used as leverage for Starbucks to deliver on union demands.

“Be it finally resolved,” reads the motion, “if Starbucks continues to refuse bargaining in good faith with Starbucks Workers United, the USAC requests the ASUCLA Board of Directors to publish a statement affirming their intention not to renew any existing contracts with Starbucks and/or immediately terminating existing contracts where possible.”

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