For Starbucks enthusiasts, the much-anticipated Starbucks Red Cup Day is finally here, offering not only the joyous celebration of the holiday season but also the chance to snag a complimentary reusable red holiday cup. This coveted giveaway is extended to customers who indulge in the festive spirit by ordering a holiday beverage on Thursday. However, as the excitement builds, some Starbucks locations may experience service interruptions, courtesy of the Starbucks Workers Union and their announced “Red Cup Rebellion.”
Set for Thursday, November 16, Red Cup Day promises a fusion of holiday cheer and caffeinated delights. The crux of this event lies in Starbucks’ gesture of gifting customers a free reusable cup, subject to availability, upon the purchase of a holiday beverage.
Yet, amid the festive fervor, a cloud of discontent hovers over certain Starbucks establishments. The Starbucks Workers Union has declared a mass walkout on Red Cup Day, echoing the sentiments of a “Red Cup Rebellion.” This labor protest involves thousands of employees across the nation, spanning hundreds of stores. In a press release issued on Monday, the union articulated its demands, calling on Starbucks to cease what they allege as the company’s illegal refusal to engage in negotiations with baristas on crucial matters like staffing, scheduling, and more. Additionally, workers are advocating for Starbucks to disable mobile ordering on future promotional days.
Diving deeper into the details, it’s imperative to understand the mechanics of Starbucks Red Cup Day in 2023.
When is Starbucks Red Cup Day in 2023?
Mark your calendars for Thursday, November 16, as this year’s Red Cup Day extravaganza.
What is Starbucks Red Cup Day?
Red Cup Day serves as Starbucks’ exuberant nod to the holiday season. It’s a day where the purchase of a handcrafted holiday beverage earns customers a cherished reusable cup. This eco-friendly cup becomes a ticket to future savings, offering a 10-cent discount on subsequent beverage purchases when returned to any local Starbucks. Moreover, Starbucks Rewards members utilizing the Starbucks app on Red Cup Day receive an additional perk – 25 bonus stars.
How to Obtain Your Free Red Cup at Starbucks
The pathway to securing your free red cup is simple – order any holiday or fall beverage, be it steaming hot, refreshingly iced, or luxuriously blended. A diverse array of beverages falls under this category, each brimming with seasonal flavors and aromas:
- Apple Crisp Oatmilk Macchiato
- Caramel Brulée Latte
- Chestnut Praline Latte
- Gingerbread Latte
- Gingerbread Oatmilk Chai
- Hot Chocolate
- Iced Apple Crisp Oatmilk Shaken Espresso
- Oleato Gingerbread Oatmilk Latte
- Peppermint Hot Chocolate
- Peppermint Mocha
- Peppermint White Hot Chocolate
- Pumpkin Cream Chai Tea Latte
- Pumpkin Cream Cold Brew
- Pumpkin Spice Latte
- Sugar Cookie Almondmilk Latte
- White Hot Chocolate
Workers United Calls for Walkouts and Strikes at Hundreds of Stores Nationwide
While Red Cup Day promises delights for customers, it also sets the stage for a dramatic turn of events at certain Starbucks locations. Starbucks Workers United has initiated what they term the “Red Cup Rebellion.” This entails planned walkouts and strikes at hundreds of stores nationwide, as illustrated by pictures and videos shared on social media platforms.
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The origins of this discontent can be traced back to earlier this fall when workers filed an unfair labor practice charge against Starbucks with the National Labor Relations Board. The bone of contention? Starbucks’ alleged refusal to negotiate around promotion days, a charge that has intensified as Red Cup Day approached.
The union’s standpoint is clear – promotion days, including the much-celebrated Red Cup Day, lead to an inundation of customers without a proportional increase in staffing. This influx, they argue, puts an undue burden on Starbucks workers who are expected to manage drive-thru orders, walk-up orders, mobile orders, and delivery orders, often with insufficient staffing.
Neha Cremin, a barista in Oklahoma City, voiced the challenges faced by Starbucks workers, stating, “Starbucks workers can’t keep working with such short staffing. At my store, we’re expected to handle drive-thru orders, walk-up orders, mobile orders, and delivery orders. This is difficult enough to manage with a fully-staffed floor, but we’re often expected to manage all these things with only three workers.”
In response to these brewing tensions, Starbucks spokesperson Andrew Trull issued a statement to USA TODAY, acknowledging the planned day of action at a subset of U.S. stores. However, he emphasized Starbucks’ commitment to working with all partners to elevate the everyday experience. Trull expressed hope that Workers United’s priorities would shift to include the shared success of partners and negotiations for contracts on behalf of those they represent. The spokesperson urged Workers United to fulfill their obligations and engage in negotiations for first contracts on behalf of the partners they represent, underscoring Starbucks’ readiness to negotiate with certified unions representing partners.
As the countdown to Red Cup Day begins, it’s not merely a celebration of holiday cheer and free cups but also a reflection of the complexities within the Starbucks workforce. The clash between the company’s promotional fervor and the employees’ plea for fair labor practices adds layers of intrigue to this festive occasion. Whether you’re eagerly anticipating your free red cup or closely following the developments of the “Red Cup Rebellion,” Starbucks Red Cup Day 2023 has undeniably become more than just a coffee run – it’s a tale of corporate festivities, worker demands, and the delicate balance between the two.