May 20, 2024

Introductory Note from the New Worker Editorial Board
The following is the recounting of a Starbucks worker and their experience with an inflammatory action by a Zionist customer and an indifferent management. The incident illustrates the antagonism the capitalist class and their agents have for the Palestinian liberation struggle as well as the total disregard they have for their workers.

Hostile Work Environment in Starbucks for Palestinian Baristas
I was assigned to the warming station when a sticker printed out and it read “Am Yisrael Chai”. I showed it to my coworkers in shock and then proceeded to make the food for the order. My shift manager (with no ask from me) went to talk to my store manager about it. My shift came back and told me that because it wasn’t outright “derogatory”, nothing could be done. I was told to simply not call out the name. This reminds me of how Starbucks has especially garnered a reputation for disregarding its Black and brown workers concerns of a hostile work environment. I remember growing up hearing about how (especially during BLM) baristas were expected to handle/tolerate the daily instances of racism that would occur with no support from the company (even banning/forbidding the wearing of BLM pins). The issue is not seeing the phrase “Am Yisrael Chai” as derogatory. Many of my coworkers didn’t know what it meant (and my manager had to look it up). It is unfortunate being a Palestinian worker at Starbucks because in these situations I already know where my company stands, against worker rights, and against Palestinian human rights. And as Starbucks workers in particular, we’re expected to leave our feelings, beliefs, and morals at the door. This third place is not our third place, where we can feel comfortable and have meaningful exchanges of human solidarity and kindness. This must change. Starbucks must be a welcoming environment for all partners regardless of your background. Differing opinions should be championed in work places, not systematically shut down the way Starbucks has shut it down.

Starbucks Workers Stand in Solidarity with the Struggle for Palestinian Liberation!
The CWPUSA calls on all Starbucks workers, especially members of Starbucks Workers United, to advocate for the liberation of Palestine, to agitate amongst their fellow workers and demonstrate their solidarity with the Palestinians by joining the struggle to overthrow capitalism.
As the CWPUSA, we call for:
– The right of the Palestinian people to a free and independent Palestine on the 1967 borders, with East Jerusalem as its capital.
– The return of all Palestinian refugees to their homes.
– The immediate release of all Palestinian and other political prisoners held in Israeli prisons.
– The complete and permanent withdrawal of US forces from the region and the end of all aid to Israel.
– The cessation of all economic–political–military cooperation with the genocidal state of Israel and the recognition of the Palestinian state.