Payday Tracks Its 2000th Strike Since 2020

Starbucks workers in Leesburg, Virginia strike over their hours being reduced (Courtesy: Northern Virginia Federation of Labor)

PITTSBURGH, PA – Payday Report’s Strike Tracker was launched in March of 2020 when we began seeing a huge uptick in the number of strikes at the beginning of the pandemic. 

This week, we tracked our 2000th strike. 

After a Starbucks in Leesburg, Virginia unionized in May, workers complained that their hours were being cut. As a result, these workers no longer qualified for the company-provided health insurance. While being scheduled for fewer hours, they were expected to work harder due to understaffing. 

“We’ve emergency-closed several times for being understaffed. We’re constantly having to turn off mobile [orders], close the cafe, or close the drive-thru just to be able to function in our store. But they’re continuing to say we’re overstaffed and over-scheduled”, Starbucks worker-organizer Stephanie Jackson told People’s World. 

To push back, workers went on strike.

This strike is one of many that we are seeing happening weekly around the country as workers at nearly 300 Starbucks locations fight for a first union contract at the retail behemoth. 

The strike wave has helped to inspire new union organizing at major chains like Amazon, Starbucks, and Apple. We will likely see even more strikes as workers like those at Starbucks fight for first union contracts. 

Payday needs your help more than ever to keep tracking these strikes. Our work has had a huge influence on how the strike wave was covered in this country. 

Last year, The Washington Post cited our work tracking strikes in a front-page cover story. The New York Times described us as a publication with “new energy.” PBS American Portrait profiled our work tracking the strike wave, and Esquire described our work as “invaluable.” 

Donate to help us keep tracking the Strike Wave. And please, if you can, sign up as one of our 692 recurring donors today. 

About the Author

Mike Elk
A protege of Bill Greider, Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter who covered Lula & the drug war in Brasil and spent years covering union organizing in the South for The Guardian. In 2016, he used his NLRB settlement from being fired illegally for union organizing at Politico to start the crowd-funded Payday Report. The son of retired United Electrical Workers (UE) Director of Organization Gene Elk, he was once described as an "abrasive gadfly" by the New York Times for his role in exposing sexual misconduct in the labor movement. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh. Email: [email protected]

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