Starbucks is threatening to take legal action against a workers’ union representing nearly 9,000 of its employees after it voiced support for Hamas’ terrorist attacks on Israel, the Washington Free Beacon reported Sunday.
Following the massacre of 1,300 Israelis, Starbucks Workers United, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union, wrote Tuesday in a now-deleted post on X, “Solidarity with Palestine!” The union, representing 340 Starbucks locations in the country, also “liked” a post by one of its members that read, “Once again, free Palestine.”
The union’s support of Hamas’ attacks prompted Republican Senator Rick Scott to call for a boycott of the coffeehouse chain.
“This is disgusting. Every American should condemn the atrocities that Iran-backed Hamas terrorists committed in Israel,” Scott posted on X. “Boycott Starbucks until its leadership strongly denounces and takes action against this horrific support of terrorism.”
The workers’ union has previously received support from independent Sen. Bernie Sanders (Vt.), Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (N.Y.), and Democratic Sen. John Fetterman (Pa.).
Starbucks released a statement the following day condemning the acts of terror and distancing itself from the workers’ union.
“Starbucks wants to again express our deepest sympathy for those who have been killed, wounded, displaced and impacted following the heinous and unacceptable acts of terror, escalating violence and hate against the innocent in Israel and Gaza this week,” Starbucks stated.
The company noted it is “deeply troubled by the spread of misinformation, inaccurate headlines and third-party social media posts stemming from statements made by Workers United.”
“We unequivocally condemn acts of terrorism, hate and violence, and disagree with the statements and views expressed by Workers United and its members. Workers United’s words and actions belong to them, and them alone,” it continued.
Starbucks added that the workers’ union and its affiliates “do not represent the company’s views, positions or beliefs.”
SEIU president Mary Kay Henry released a statement Tuesday on X: “The violence in Israel and Palestine is unconscionable. @SEIU stands with all who are suffering, while strongly condemning anti-Semitism, Islamophobia & hate in all forms. I pray for a swift resolution and a future where all in the region can be happy, safe & live with dignity.”
On Sunday, the Washington Free Beacon reported that Starbucks is considering legal action against the workers’ union.
A letter obtained by the Free Beacon revealed that Starbucks demanded the union “immediately cease and desist” from using the coffeehouse’s name and logo. Starbucks noted that the union’s statements “advocat[ed] for violence” and caused “irreparable harm” to the company, the outlet reported.
The letter, written by Starbucks counsel Rocky C. Tsai to the international president of Workers United, Lynne Fox, declared that the company “does not support your organization’s position.”
“This matter must be resolved immediately. If it is not, we will seek all appropriate legal relief, including without limitation monetary damages,” Tsai told Fox.
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