Starbucks Nationwide Closed Due to Staffing Issues – USC Nurses Strike – Howard Univ. Union Activists Speak Out


Greetings from the Burgh, where it’s a gorgeous 90-degree day!

USC Nurses Go On Strike 

In Los Angeles, hundreds of nurses have gone on strike at Keck Hospital of USC and the USC Norris Comprehensive Cancer Center. 

“We don’t want to strike, but our patients’ safety is jeopardized by chronic short staffing and the hospital’s excessive reliance on outside contractors without the appropriate skill mix to provide safe care,” USC nurse Joshua Duarte said in a statement.

For more, check out CBS Los Angeles. 

Several Starbucks Close Across Nation Due to Poor Staffing 

The “Retail Worker Rebellion” continues. 

In our search of Twitter this morning, we discovered multiple comments from customers across the country frustrated that their neighborhood Starbucks is closed. We found customers in Jonesboro, ArkansasHonolulu, New Orleans, and Austin complaining of nearby Starbucks stores being suddenly closed as nationwide retailers complain of struggling to find workers to fill low-wage retail worker jobs.

After seeing a sign informing that a Starbucks was closed due to staffing concerns, one customer in the Austin neighborhood of Rockwood tweeted: “#LovetoSeeIt, but also, I need my espresso.” 

If a retail outlet is closed near you, please send us a photo of the closing with the location of the store at [email protected]

Upgrade Needed for Payday’s Strike Tracker as “Retail Worker Rebellion” Roars

Recently, Payday’s Strike Tracker has been having issues because there are over 1,400 strikes on it and our website was not designed to handle a map with so many links to various strikes on it. (Check out our piece produced in conjunction with the Center for Economic and Policy Research and the Institute for New Economic Thinking.)  

To make the Strike Tracker load faster, we need to change servers. It’s a complex process that will require us to hire an outside web developer. 

Donate today so we can upgrade the Strike Tracker and keep tracking the “Retail Worker Rebellion.” 

Sign up to become one of our more than 600 recurring donors today so we can fundraise less and become more sustainable.  

Howard University Adjuncts Complain About Lack of Tenure-Track Jobs 

Award-winning NYT journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones recently decided to take a tenure-track job at Howard University after the University of North Carolina controversially denied her tenure as the Knight Chair in Race and Investigative Reporting at North Carolina.

However, adjuncts at Howard have brought up Hannah-Jones’ offer of tenure to draw attention to how so many non-tenured faculty are never given the opportunity to even seek tenure at Howard. 

In the three years after they successfully voted to unionize, Howard University has resisted efforts to bargain a fair union contract with its adjunct union. 

“Three years ago, the full-time faculty who work in positions not subject to tenure, organized and voted to create a Union that covers a membership roster of less than 150 professors,” wrote Imani Light, an adjunct professor at Howard. “And in the three years since that ratifying vote passed, Howard University has rivaled the likes of Amazon and Wal-Mart in their efforts to first block and then break the Union of non-tenure-track faculty.” 

Check out the full open letter here. 

Mass. Considers Repealing a Ban on Public Employees’ Strikes 

Many states ban strikes by public employees, claiming that allowing public employees to strike would deny citizens vital public services. But not being allowed to strike legally, public employees are forced to resort to often legally risky wildcat strikes. 

As a result, some lawmakers and unions are now pushing Massachusetts to repeal their ban on public employees striking. 

“It’s not fair to turn to a public educator or a firefighter and say to that worker they shouldn’t be afforded the same fundamental rights in the workplace as all workers,” State Rep. Mike Connolly told WWLP. 

For more, check out WWLP. 

Cleveland’s Great Lakes Brewing Unionized 

Finally, one of my favorite beer companies, Great Lakes, has decided to unionize.

“Yes this is about giving us a voice, but we also feel that a union would be good for [Great Lakes’] business,” one member of the Great Lakes Organizing Committee told the Cleveland Scene. “People are going to love buying union-made craft beer in Cleveland.”

For more, check out the Cleveland Scene. 

News Happening Elsewhere

Hear about a strike or walkout or just want to share some comments? Drop us a line at [email protected]

If you can, donate today to help us cover the growing “Retail Worker Rebellion.” 

Or, sign up as one of our 600 recurring donors today. 

Love & Solidarity, 


About the Author

Mike Elk
Mike Elk is an Emmy-nominated labor reporter and alumni of the Guardian. In addition to filing nearly 2,000 stories from 46 states, Elk traveled with Lula from Sáo Bernando do Campos all the way to the Oval Office in the White House. Credited by the Washington Post for being the first reporter to track the strike wave systematically, Elk started Payday Report using his NLRB settlement from being illegally fired for union organizing in 2015. He lives in his hometown of Pittsburgh and works frequently in Rio de Janeiro, where he attended college at PUC-Rio. He speaks both Portuguese and Pittsburghese fluently. His email is [email protected]

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