Global coffee retailer Starbucks has begun dialling back its LGBTQ-themed decor just two weeks into PRIDE month amid fears of an impending backlash.
A Twitter thread shared by Starbucks Workers United (@SBWorkersUnited) wrote:
“Starbucks Partners coming together to create a better workplace” — management in a number of Starbucks franchises have opted to tone down PRIDE displays all across the United States.
“BREAKING: In the middle of Pride Month, Starbucks BANS Pride decorations in stores across the United States,” the group tweeted, adding that workers had already begun to share the news via social media.
“This seems to be the first year the publicly ‘pro-LGBTQ+’ company has taken this kind of stance,” they continued.
They said the apparent policy change was due to the recent backlash and boycotts aimed at retail giant Target over its PRIDE displays like “binding” swimwear for trans-identifying children.
Target and Bud Light have lost billions for embracing rainbow capitalism, and it now seems Starbucks does not want to be the next victim.
“Taking a cue from Target, who bowed to anti-LGBTQ+ pressure and removed pride merchandise, corporate and district management are taking down the pride decorations that have become an annual tradition in stores,” they said.
The Starbucks employees also argued that union stores should not have been able to take down the pride decor without returning to the bargaining table.
Highlighting there are “many queer workers” within the corporation, the group slammed management for adopting changes to transgender insurance benefits, which placed a more significant financial burden on the employees.
“If Starbucks was a true ally, they would stand up for us, especially during a time when LGBTQ+ people are under attack. A company that cares wouldn’t turn their back on the LGBTQ+ community to protect their already astronomically high profits,” the group concluded.
“True allyship with the LGBTQ+ community is negotiating a union contract that legally locks in our benefits, our freedom of expression, and ways to hold management accountable.”