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Baristas at Cleveland Circle Starbucks walk out over working conditions - like water leaking out of lighting fixtures

Workers at the Starbucks at 1948 Beacon St. in Brighton struck this morning after they say the shop's owners refused repeated requests to fix problems that finally cascaded into water coming out of ceiling lighting fixtures, streaming down "onto the floors, espresso machines, counter spaces and the partners themselves" for several hours yesterday.

In their strike explanation, the workers say the owners told them to stay on the job even as the water kept falling on them - and that when they were finally allowed to leave, they "were left in the dark" about catastrophe pay for the sudden shutdown.

Workers said they are willing to return to work tomorrow - if repairs have been made to keep them and customers safe.

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Comments

I've never set foot inside a Starbucks without being the invited guest of someone else.

Imagine needing money so badly that you can't keep your employees from getting soaked by light fixtures.

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One of the few bright spots of the past couple years is the uptick in workers realizing the power that they have if they act in solidarity.

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And rent out a space somewhere else.

I have noticed those buildings have been under some rehab over the past year or two. Not sure if they are connected or not (Supercuts moved and and GNC closed/moved)

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of the Brighton Center location?

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it's because repairing the store to make it safe would cost more than the store brings in - in which case, the workers are smart to not continue working there.

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Then those baristas will just get a job somewhere else. Everybody is hiring. Especially in the summer.

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break them up and go work somewhere else?

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Which would mean that they can't operate (or make any money) without the people doing the actual work there. Hence, the workers have power.

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The company can’t make money without the employees. Agreed. The employees can’t make money with the company too. You missed that part. It’s a symbiotic relationship.

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The employees will have an easier time finding other work that pays the same or better than Starbucks has of replacing people who quit.

That’s a rare occurrence and both sides know it.

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They can close, renovate and open up later and make more money while the workers are forced to split up and take shifts at other places.

Either way it looks like they will have to shut down and repair what needs to be fixed.

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No, the employment rate is at an all time low and there are a lot of reqs that need to be filled. The power has swung from the employer to the employee.

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I was referring to the surge in strikes and union drives around the country over the past couple years. The power has not "swung from the employer to the employee." They both possess the same power they had previously. It's just easier for the capitalist class to exercise their power, because there are fewer people to get on the same page. In order for the working class to wield its power, all of the workers need to be organized.

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They simply DGAF about corporations and will fight for themselves AND each other.

They see the absurdity of it all and fully understand the power in a collective group.

But they're not hippies. They're tech savvy, fully aware, and well informed. And while they'll participate in the economy, theyre not beholden to it and "letting it burn" as a response to unjust conditions is a righteous cause in the face of unjust and predatory capitalism.

Be nice to them. They're gonna be running the show in a few years and they WILL remember who stood by them.

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We agree on something.

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is a good move, but a better move would have been to drop a tip to the health inspector. Mystery water cascading out of the ceiling onto food prep surfaces would have yielded citations, and possibly fines/shutdown that is a lot more trouble for Starbucks to resolve than shuffling employees from other locations.

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The entire building is condominiumized, not owned by Starbucks. The HOA needs to fix the roof.

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would be handled by the shop owners. If they're not willing to do even that much, then the workers are right to walk out.

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Have fixed everything you’ve brought to their attention immediately. Right?

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But, in those cases, I've always tried to be clear and direct about communicating with my roommates about what's going on, what I've heard from the landlord, etc. And if those issues are as bad as in this case, I'd be discussing with them how we were going to move forward. I certainly would not be trying to push any economic advantage I had to try and force people into a dangerous situation while not communicating with them!

This metaphor got a bit convoluted so I'll clarify - if the owners aren't able to control what repairs the landlord makes, they should close and send their staff home until the repairs can be made, and communicate to their staff about what's going on and what they can expect.

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cascaded into water coming out of ceiling lighting fixtures, streaming down "onto the floors, espresso machines, counter spaces and the partners themselves" for several hours yesterday.

How could that possibly pass a health inspection?

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I bet it’s the AC. This tends to happen on the hot days and I’ve seen a few places with buckets and tarps collecting water from AC drippage

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been made to keep them and customers sfe.

SFE = Supercritical Fluid Extraction?

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But in the meantime, dropped 'a' added back in.

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Like the classic Three Stooges episode where the pipes are clogged with wires and water eventually comes out of the ceiling fixtures :-)

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Ok, so the working conditions meant you needed to close for a few days but I am failing to see where this is a catastrophe on any level.

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If the cafe has to shut down while repairs are made and the staff is thrown out of work for several days with no pay, you bet that's a catastrophe.

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My goodness, how will they survive?? Look, I get there will be some loss of wages which is unfortunate but it certainly does not rise to a need where some type of "catastrophe pay" is warranted. If it is even a thing. Literally thousands of job openings, including businesses in the same block, to prevent the said catastrophe for these young folks.

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Call it what you want, but they deserve compensation for the time they cant work because those who own the means of production are failing at maintaining them.

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