© 2024 KALW 91.7 FM Bay Area
KALW Public Media / 91.7 FM Bay Area
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Your Call

The fight for better pay, benefits & working conditions spreads to Starbucks, REI, Amy's Kitchen & Jon Donaire Desserts

Striking workers at Jon Donaire

On this edition of Your Call, we're discussing the continuing fight for workers' rights. Workers are seeking to unionize at an REI store in Manhattan, Amazon distribution centers in Staten Island, New York and Bessemer, Alabama, and 54 Starbucks coffee shops across the country. Seven pro-union Starbucks workers in Memphis, Tennessee, say they were fired on Tuesday for policies that were never enforced before.

Workers at Amy's Kitchen, the vegetarian frozen food giant that now has restaurants and drive-thrus in four California cities, told NBC the factory is pushing them past the point of injury. The production lines have steadily increased in speed over the years without corresponding increases in pay or better resources to prevent injuries.

And for workers who are already unionized, the fight for better pay, benefits and conditions continues. In Santa Fe Springs, California, workers at the Jon Donaire Desserts plant have been on strike since November 3rd, with no end in sight. John Donaire Desserts makes cakes for Baskin Robbins, Walmart and Safeway.


Maximilian Alvarez, editor-in-chief of the Real News Network and host of the Working People podcast

Cristina Lujan, Jon Donaire Desserts employee who, along with many of her co-workers, has been on strike since November 3rd, 2021

Joseph Thompson, UC Santa Cruz student, shift supervisor at the Starbucks on Ocean Street in Santa Cruz, California and leader of the union organizing efforts for that store

Web Resources:

More Perfect Union: Amazon Workers Confident They’ll WIN Union Election Rerun in Alabama

Common Dreams: 'They Are Firing the Entire Committee!' Memphis Workers Say Starbucks Targeting Union Organizers

NPR: Starbucks union push spreads to 54 stores in 19 states

The New York Times: Workers at REI Store in Manhattan Seek to Form Retailer’s Only Union

JNews, Quartz at Work: Why Starbucks, REI and Kickstarter are against unions

Los Angeles Times: At a subsidiary of a $4-billion corporation, these low-wage workers are striking for better pay

The Guardian: ‘Our raises have been pennies’: US cake-makers strike for fair deal as company makes billions

NBC: Amy's Kitchen says its food is made with 'love.' Some at the factory say the job has left them injured.

Eater SF: Workers for Frozen Food Giant Amy’s Kitchen Allege Unsafe Conditions at Bay Area Factory

Rose Aguilar has been the host of Your Call since 2006. She became a regular media roundtable guest in 2001. In 2019, the San Francisco Press Club named Your Call the best public affairs program. In 2017, The Nation named it the most valuable local radio show.