This is a note we received this morning from a representative of the Starbucks Workers Union, a branch of the Industrial Workers of the World organizing Starbucks baristas.
From: Liberte Locke
Subject: Union Baristas Condemn Rape of Starbucks Worker
Date: 1 February 2010, 5:02 AM PST
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
IWW Starbucks Workers Union
Contact: Liberte Locke, 917-693-7742
February 1, 2010
Union Baristas Condemn Rape of Starbucks Worker by Manager, Call for Overhaul of Sexual Harassment Training
On January 22, ABC aired a story on sex in the workplace, featuring an interview with former Starbucks barista Kati Moore. The TV segment has provoked widespread public debate about sexual harassment in the workplace. In the interview, Kati told her story of being raped multiple times by Starbucks supervisor Tim Horton when she was 16 years old. When public prosecutors became aware of the crime, they filed charges against the supervisor. For reasons that we cannot understand, Starbucks refused to condemn the rapist supervisor’s conduct. Rather than immediately firing him, they transferred Kati and paid Horton’s legal fees. However, even with access to Starbucks’ financial backing, Horton was found
guilty of rape and served four months in prison.
In response to the coverage of this story on ABC, Starbucks issued an internal memo slandering Kati and claiming that she had consented to sex with Horton, even though Horton has already been found guilty of rape.
As members of the IWW Starbucks Workers Union, we are disgusted that Starbucks management continues to not only tolerate sexual harassment and rape, but actually supports and backs known perpetrators and openly attacks those who have the courage to speak out.
We are disgusted, but not surprised. Kati Moore’s story is not an isolated incident. Our union frequently hears from Starbucks workers all over the United States who have not been taken seriously by the company when they report sexual harassment to management. Either through lack of action or a refusal to keep complaints confidential, Starbucks has time and again either blamed the victims or completely ignored those who have reported sexual violence in the workplace.
We demand that this come to an end. Everyone has the right to a harassment-free workplace. So far, Starbucks has fallen far short of providing this environment. We call upon the company to fix its broken sexual harassment policies by immediately instituting mandatory classes for all employees about sexual harassment, by keeping the identity of sexual harassment complaints confidential, and by no longer blaming the victims of sexual violence at the workplace.
If you have been a victim of sexual violence, either while working at Starbucks or any other company, there are resources available for you. Call the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network at 1-800-656-HOPE. Your call is free and completely confidential. You can also contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or get in touch with the IWW
Starbucks Workers Union.
The IWW Starbucks Workers Union is a grassroots organization of over 300 current and former employees at the world’s largest coffee chain united for secure work hours and a living wage. The union has members throughout the United States and Canada fighting for systemic change at the company and remedying individual grievances with management.
Union baristas, bussers, and shift supervisors have fought successfully toward improved scheduling and staffing levels, increased wages, and workplace safety. Workers who join the union have immediate access to co-workers and members of the community who will struggle with them for a better life on the job.
The Starbucks Workers Union has also published a statement of solidarity with Kati Moore
which includes a detailed discussion of the case, and the following suggestions for those who want to support Kati Moore and make sure that the Starbucks corporate office is held accountable:
What Can You Do to Support Kati and Hold Starbucks Accountable?
- Tell everyone you know about Kati. Feel free to repost this statement or a link to it anywhere you like. We’d appreciate an email to let us know you did. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Join the Facebook group, “Kati Moore is a Hero”, and show your support for her while receiving updates about the case, and announcements of actions done to support Kati.
- Email Starbucks’ Business Ethics department at BusinessConduct@Starbucks.com
- Fill out a comment card, available at Starbucks, mail your thoughts to the company. It’s postage paid.
- Call Starbucks customer relations hotline at (800) 235-2883 to voice your support for Kati.
What Can We Do as Workers at Starbucks?
- Fill out a mission review and send Starbucks your thoughts on this
- Help spread the truth to your coworkers. Starbucks is doing the best they can to silence any workers talking about Kati and what she’s gone through. You have the right to discuss these issues and can’t not be silenced just because they don’t want to hear about it.
- Refer coworkers to this statement
- Join the Facebook group in support of Kati – Kati Moore is a Hero
- Stories have been coming in about Baristas putting up notes at work in support of Kati. Some workers have started wearing “Stop Rape” pins on their uniforms. Get creative.
- Stand up for each other. Lend support for your coworker if you know they’re going through a similar experience.
- If you’ve experienced sexual harassment at work and want support, feel free to contact us anytime. Everything will be confidential and we will never do anything in your name without your consent.
Resources for those affected by sexual harassment and/or assault:
* You can call the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network at 1-800-656-HOPE. Your call is free and completely confidential. Also, online at www.rainn.org
* If you are facing sexual harassment at your workplace, Sexual Harassment Support is an excellent resource for fighting back against it. http://www.sexualharassmentsupport.org/
* You can also contact the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) if your workplace is in the United States. Website: www.eeoc.gov, or by phone, 1-800-669-4000
* If you’re in Canada, the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Canada Labour Code protect against harassment in the workplace. Learn more at http://www.chrc-ccdp.ca/
* If you are having a hard time finding resources in your area for support you can email email@example.com and we will try to help you with finding local assistance.