Rob Baran or Robber Baron? (part 3.)

Part 1. Part 2.

Call, write, email, stop in or take whatever action you deem appropriate, to send a message to “co-op” management, letting them know that such conduct is unacceptable, especially from an establishment which sells itself as an alternative to chain stores.

Petty, East End Food “Co-op” tyrant, Rob Baran, has apparently suffered a head injury, similar to the one that makes Ben Roethlisberger spend thousands of US dollars on doggie clothes.
Maybe Mr. Baran needs a helmet?
An email that is circulating on several local email lists was received by the YT. In it, a co-op worker sheds some lights on Mr. Baran’s latest egomaniacal demands:

To anyone interested in justice or at least in the well-being of your friends at the EEFC, especially those involved with the city paper:
The cafe staff has been subjected over the past two weeks to numerous actions of questionable legality and are being threatened with a wholesale lay-off upon refusal to sign a document we’ve endearingly termed “The Ultimatum.”

Background:
A new manager was hired two weeks ago. Upon his first active day in the kitchen, he was demonstrably hostile to at least three employees, shouting continually in an unprovoked fit of rage despite their calm tones and attempts to pacify his outburst. He screamed things like “All the shit you make here is garbage!,” “I will not put my name on this crap” (while slamming a full pan of pasta into a trash can, and other things. When one staff member reminded him (his name is Terry) of a meeting he was scheduled to attend, he misheard her and screamed repeatedly “Terry IS THE MEANING! Terry IS the MEANING! Terry IS THE MEANING!!” These are the words of a megalomaniac. All the while, he shouted through the store, walking out the aisles to the lobby continuing to shout. Both employees to whom he had originally raised his voice were written up for insubordination. One, who has worked here over 10 years, insisted that if Terry were permitted to continue working as the manager, that she would deliver her two weeks notice effective the day in question. This is exactly what happened.

Two weeks lapsed with no word from management as to the status of Terry’s continued employment. Upon coming into work on Monday, November 26th, having never even met this man, I was prompted to a meeting with management along with the rest of the cafe staff. We were handed a legally questionable document by the general manager of the store, Rob Baran, REQUIRING our signatures by the next day at 5PM, to a list of promises including a promise to work FOR this man whose behavior was completely threatening and unprofessional. Keep in mind that, speaking only for myself, I had no idea this was coming and did absolutely nothing to provoke this ultimatum.
Quoting from the “cafe transition vision”/”ultimatum”: If you are unable to make this commitment, for whatever reason, you will be laid off at the time that best suits the business interests of the coop.
Please come into the coop, CALLing would be even better, or just come in and fill out a comment card and insist to be heard — that one of the best places to shop, a co-op no less, which is supposed to operate on democratic member-reviewed process, is trying to fuck all of us over as quietly as possible and sweep this under the rug. Our deadline has been extended to wednesday at 5pm.
TAKE ACTION IF YOU CAN!!!

A loyalty oath? Is it a slightly above minimum wage job or a motorcycle gang? What’s next, 7 year FBI background checks? Hair testing for drugs? Interviewing neighbors to see if a prospective employee is “co-op” material? Do the greenwashed chains put the people who work for them through this kind of nonsense?

Another “co-op” worker is also expressing their discontent with the conditions and atmosphere, and not just the working ones. Sounds like management is ignoring some pretty basic health and sanitation concerns, despite what appears to be multiple attempts to remedy them.

Even loyal consumers (or ‘member-owners’ or whatever pretentious bullshit title your membership fees pay for) are questioning whether “co-op” management views them as the same kind of captive audience that they view the workers to be, as evidenced by this exchange. I guess the “co-op” is overcharging people for the good feeling they get by shopping there?

 

 

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Starbucks: PA Turnpike Actions & No Mansion for its CEO Email Campaign

http://www.starbucksunion.org/Union Spreads News of SBUX Organizing Drive Across PA on Black Friday with Leafleting at Turnpike

Submitted by SWU on Mon, 11/19/2007 – 5:27pm.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contacts: Central PA – Hawa Lassanah
(717) 380-6085
Western PA – Kenneth Miller
(412) 241-1339
Updates on: www.starbucksunion.org

PITTSBURGH, PA — On Black Friday, the traditional start of the holiday shopping season, members and supporters of the Starbucks Workers Union (SWU), part of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW), will spread the news of union organizing and the exploitation of coffee workers by the world’s largest coffee chain, Starbucks, at rest areas along the PA Turnpike.

Starbucks, a company that has built a reputation as the leader in “Socially Responsible” business practices, has been exposed as a union buster, and its claims about respectful treatment of coffee growers does not hold up to the most elementary scrutiny.

“Starbucks has deceived many people into believing that it is a decent employer. But the reality of working at Starbucks is a poverty wage, irregular scheduling, and unaffordable health care. Starbucks needs to stop the union-busting and respect our rights now,” says SWU organizer Daniel Gross. The SWU organizes workers at both company-owned and licensed Starbucks facilities.

read more

File under: IWW Starbucks Workers Union News

 

E-mail Action: Say NO to Starbucks Chairman Mansion Purchase!

Friends:

As Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz wages a crude
union-busting operation against baristas striving for
a living wage and secure work hours, he is applying to
buy a $25-$30 million co-op apartment in Manhattan!

Tell the building’s Co-op Board that New York is a
union town and Howard Schultz is not welcome here!

Click here to participate in the e-mail action:
http://starbucksunion.org/node/1903

Thank you for all of your hard work.

-The IWW Starbucks Workers Union, http://StarbucksUnion.org

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File under: Starbucks Union

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Starbucks-Licensee Threatens IWW With Frivolous Lawsuit

Submitted by SWU on Thu, 11/15/2007 – 4:56pm.

For Immediate Release:
IWW Starbucks Workers Union
November 15, 2007
Contact: starbucksunion@yahoo.com

Statement of Starbucks Workers Union Followed by Legal Threat Letter from HMSHost:

“Starbucks should be ashamed that HMSHost, the
operator of 150 Starbucks stores, is threatening
frivolous litigation against the Industrial Workers of
the World to stifle First Amendment activity. This
type of anti-worker conduct is among the factors
contributing to the decline of the Starbucks brand and
attendant earnings woes. The IWW Starbucks Workers
Union will not be deterred by a baseless lawsuit and
we look forward to carrying out our communications
initiative at Pennsylvania’s HMS-operated Starbucks
stores this Black Friday. We call on Chairman Howard
Schultz and Starbucks to insist that HMSHost immediately
rescind its anti-speech legal threat.”

Starbucks-Licensee Legal Threat Letter

November 13, 2007
Via Regular Mail and E-Mail
Kenneth Miller
7125 Thomas Blvd.
Pittsburgh, PA 15208

RE: Starbucks on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and IWW’s
intention to picket and Request that Customers Boycott
Starbucks products

Dear Mr. Miller:
This is a follow up letter to one that had
previously been sent to you by Christopher Townsend
from HMSHost Corporation. Your communications to the
Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission and your letter to
HMSHost clearly set for the union’s dispute with
Starbucks Corporation and your organizational campaign
drive against Starbucks. As stated in Mr. Townsend’s
letter, and as you have also been informed by the
Turnpike Commission, Host is a tenant at the Turnpike
that has a franchise agreement with Starbucks to
operate stores on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Your contemplated picketing and boycott activity
of Host’s Starbucks stores on the Turnpike constitutes
illegal secondary activity and a violation of Section
8 (b) (4) (ii) (B) of the National Labor Relations
Act. The Commission has also advised the union that
its conduct and continued communications with it
asking it to boycott Starbucks products and business
from the Turnpike could support a claim for tortuous
contractual interference.
Please be advised that Host will take all
necessary action to protect its business interests and
should any picketing and boycott activity occur as
contemplated that Host will seek legal recourse to
protect its rights, including seeking the recover of
damages that will occur because of the union’s
unlawful conduct. Historically, Hosts’ stores on the
Turnpike do very well over the Thanksgiving Holiday.
Therefore, Host will seek all lost revenues and costs
associated with bringing such action from the union
because of its unlawful secondary activity.
Should you have any further questions, please
feel free to contact me directly.
Sincerely,
Mary Helen Medina
Cc: Chuck Powers
Christopher Townsend
Brian Gallant
Stephen Stokwitz

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File under: IWW Starbucks Workers Union News

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Catching Up (Part 3.) September 17-23

  • September 17: Everyone at a John Kerry speech should be Tasered, including hecklers, cops, and Kerrys alike. In a representative government individual politicians go away if ignored.
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