SEATTLE: Starbucks plans to issue “clearer” centralised guidelines for in-store visual displays following a union’s allegations that managers banned Pride-themed decor, the coffee chain said in an internal memo to employees.
“We intend to issue clearer centralised guidelines… for in-store visual displays and decorations that will continue to represent inclusivity and our brand,” Starbucks’ North America president Sara Trilling said in the memo.
The memo comes after the union representing the coffee chain’s baristas alleged that managers at dozens of Starbucks locations had prevented employees from putting up Pride Month flags and decorations, or had removed them. The coffee giant disputes these allegations.
More than 3,000 workers at over 150 Starbucks stores in the US will walk off the job, the union said on Friday.
Starbucks also filed two complaints against Workers United with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on Monday, alleging that the union made misleading claims on the company’s in-store decoration guidelines and gender-affirming care benefits.
NLRB and the union did not immediately respond to Reuters’ requests for comment.
Several US retail brands have faced backlash from conservatives over the display of LGBTQ+ merchandise, as well as criticism from gay rights groups for insufficient support for the community.