PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Workers at four Starbucks locations in Pittsburgh were on strike Wednesday.
The strike came as the company held its annual meeting. Union workers at shops in Bloomfield, Shadyside, Ross Township and Market Square participated in the strike.
"I have friends who are sleeping in their cars and selling plasma to try and make ends meet with the wages they're paying us," said Abbie Levans, a barista at the South Side Starbucks.
She said union members across the country are trying to get the attention of the coffee company's new CEO, who started Monday.
These workers have been without a contract for several months, and they want their new leader to prioritize good-faith bargaining after months of rescheduled or flopped negotiations.
"They just showed up and said we have to go caucus a couple of minutes into the meeting, and then sat in the next room and waited the time out and left," Levans said.
Levans said workers are hoping for guaranteed raises and better staffing.
"Especially at some of these drive-thru stores where you're at peak and your lines are wrapped around," Levans said. "I worked at a drive-thru store, and we were told our window times needed to be under 40 seconds."
They also want better and more inclusive health care.
"For a lot of people, it's almost inaccessible," Levans said.
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