Skip to main content


Atlas Shrugged: Starbucks says Pride worker strike not impacting business

Several experts have recently asserted that corporate America is starting to see a downshift in profits due to their commitments to DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) and ESG (environmental, social and governance) investing

Starbucks Coffee storefront with Pride decorations
Starbucks Coffee storefront with Pride decorations | Shutterstock

June 23, 2023 8:35pm

Updated: June 23, 2023 8:35pm

About 3,500 unionized Starbucks workers walked out Friday as part of a national strike at 150 locations to protest a purported Starbucks’ policy of removing Pride decorations.

Starbucks is denying the claims by Starbucks Workers United that the Seattle-based company restricted decorations during Pride Month.

The union said earlier this month the corporation took down decorations at several locations, an allegation some employees made on social media.

So far, the strike has had little impact on the company, according to a Starbucks spokesperson who told the New York Post that it had “limited effect” with less than 10 stores actually having impact.

“Workers United continues to spread false information about our benefits, policies and negotiation efforts — a tactic used to seemingly divide our partners and deflect from their failure to respond to bargaining sessions for more than 200 stores,” the Starbucks spokesperson told the New York City based newspaper.

“We apologize to our customers who may experience an inconvenience at these locations and encourage customers to find any of our more than 9,000 stores open nearby using our store locator available online or through the Starbucks mobile app.”

The strike began Friday after Starbucks Workers United made an announcement on Twitter from the company’s Seattle Roastery, a flagship location just a few blocks from the company’s original Pike Place Market shop.

“We unwaveringly support the LGBTQIA2+ community,” the company said last week. This week, the company reiterated their policy, saying nothing has changed.

“There has been no change to any policy on this matter and we continue to encourage our store leaders to celebrate with their communities including for U.S. Pride Month in June,” Andrew Trull told the Post.

“We’re deeply concerned by false information that is being spread especially as it relates to our inclusive store environments, our company culture and the benefits we offer our partners.”

Instead, the company says those locations experiencing employee shortages had other problems.

In one instance at an Oklahoma location, the company said it instructed employees to remove decorations, because of “a safety issue related to the recent attacks on Target.”

Their explanation stems from recent controversies in which some Target locations allegedly received threats after it featured swimwear for transgender customers.

Several experts have recently asserted that corporate America is starting to see a downshift in profits due to their commitments to DEI (diversity, equity and inclusion) and ESG (environmental, social and governance) investing.

A recent June 12 front page Wall Street Journal report asserts that “woke” ideas are being rejected from coast to coast across America, specifically citing Target as one of the companies whose policies have irked customers.

“Finance chiefs and other executives have significantly quieted down in public settings about their environmental and employee diversity efforts as the opposition has mounted from a confluence of interests: Investors who want companies to focus on their operations, not the social good, and conservative groups and political leaders who have seized on corporate support of such causes to rally ‘anti-woke’ constituents — for example, calling for boycotts of brands that advertise their support of the LGBTQ community in the wake of recent disputes with Target and Bud Light,” the newspaper reported.

While Bud Light and Target and have come under fire for pushing leftist, woke values on their customers and employees, the Journal says that the shift is now negatively impacting its profit margin.

“Companies’ mentions of green and social initiatives during earnings calls have fallen off sharply in recent quarters, reversing a more boastful approach taken over the past few years amid intensifying pressure from some investors and conservative activities,” the Journal added.

In a recent Washington Times column written by American Spectator Editor in Chief Emmett Tyrell, the veteran journalist suggested woke policies are facing a serious backlash.

“Whether it be the result of my boycott or a larger movement — something cosmic — I do not know. But evidence is pouring in that “woke” ideology is being rejected in the boardrooms of giant corporations. Even the smaller companies are taking a stand,” Tyrell wrote.