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Students demand universities kick Starbucks off campus

2 Starbucks locations in Colorado among 21 nationwide to announce unionization efforts
2 Starbucks locations in Colorado among 21 nationwide to announce unionization efforts 00:31

Students at multiple U.S. colleges on Thursday urged their universities to kick Starbucks off their campuses until the coffee chain changes its labor practices.

According to organizers, actions were planned at 25 campuses across the country to protest the coffee giant's failure to negotiate contracts with the thousands of baristas who've unionized over the last two years.

"If Starbucks was a student, they would have been expelled by now because of the number of rules they've broken," Valli Pendyala, a freshman at Georgetown University, stated. "That's why we're taking action to demand that Georgetown lets its contract with Starbucks expire and that it holds Starbucks accountable for its attacks on its workers."  

Starbucks, however, rejected the notion that it was stone-walling bargaining efforts. 

"While we remain long-standing advocates of civil discourse, our focus is on fulfilling our promise to offer all partners a bridge to a better future—through competitive pay, industry-leading benefits for part-time work and our continued efforts to negotiate fair contracts for partners at stores that have chosen union representation," the company told CBS News in an emailed statement. 

It also downplayed any impact from the students' efforts, saying activities had not materialized at all the campuses touted by the union, Workers United, and that campus store operators had not reported any disruptions to their operations.

At New York University, students delivered a petition calling on the university to stop selling Starbucks coffee until the company changes its tactics.

NYU students just delivered a petition signed by OVER 500 students, to President Linda Mills demanding NYU cut ties with Starbucks! Students across the country are saying NO to Starbucks' union busting!

Posted by Fight for $15 on Thursday, February 22, 2024

"NYU will review the petition we've received," a spokesperson emailed CBS News.

"However, just to be clear, all the workers at the Starbucks affiliated with NYU are unionized employees covered by a collective bargaining agreement with our food services contractor, Chartwells," the NYU spokesperson added.

A spokesperson for Georgetown said the university was "continuing to look closely at this important issue."

"Georgetown does not have a contract with Starbucks. Aramark, the university's primary food service provider, manages most of the retail and residential dining operations on campus. Aramark has a license agreement with Starbucks, and union-represented Aramark dining employees staff the Leavey Center Starbucks location," a university spokesperson noted. 

Aramark's hourly workers on Georgetown's campuses are represented by the UNITE HERE union, the spokesperson added.

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