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
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter who covered everything from Lula & the Brazilian labor movement to major league baseball. He spent years covering union organizing in the South for The Guardian and was labeled by the New York Times as an "abrasive gadfly" for exposing within the labor movement. Raised in a UE union family in Pittsburgh, Elk was illegally for union organizing at Politico in 2015 and used his NLRB settlement to start the crowd-funded Payday Report. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and is fluent in both Pittsburghese and Portuguese, which he learned when attending journalism school at PUC-Rio de Janerio. Email: [email protected]

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