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Your Call

Workers at Amy's Kitchen, Trader Joe’s, Starbucks & Chipotle accuse companies of union busting

On this edition of Your Call, we're discussing union busting as workers across the country continue to demand basic rights. In the first half of this year, unions prevailed in 639 elections, according to Bloomberg Law's analysis. That amounts to 43,092 workers. That’s the highest win for labor in nearly 20 years. How are corporations responding?

Trader Joe's workers say the company's decision to shut down its only wine shop in New York City is blatant union busting. The union representing Starbucks said the coffee chain closed its Kansas City and Seattle stores in retaliation for organizing. Last month, Amy's Kitchen shut down its San Jose factory, where workers have also been organizing. Chipotle Mexican Grill recently closed a Maine restaurant whose staff were planning to form an independent union called Chipotle United. It would have been the chain’s first unionized restaurant.


John Logan, professor of US labor history at San Francisco State University

Maeg Yosef, Trader Joe's crew member and organizer with Trader Joe's United

Sarah Beth Ryther, Trader Joe's crew member and organizer with Trader Joe's United

James Kreiss, supervisor at Starbucks in San Francisco’s Castro District

Web Resources:

Jacobin: Starbucks’ Howard Schultz Should Win an Award for the Nation’s Most Flagrant Union Buster

HuffPost: Trader Joe’s Cut Workers' Retirement Benefits During The Pandemic

Salon: "Essential workers were invisible": First Trader Joe's union a sign of post-pandemic labor surge

Prism:Amy’s Kitchen closes San Jose facility after workers seek to form a union

San Jose Spotlight: Employees protest mistreatment at major San Jose food plant

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.
Bee Soll is a producer with Your Call at KALW, and a producer, writer, and editor at KCBS Radio in San Francisco. She is a former reporter for Crosscurrents and contributor at KPFA Radio.