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Workers at multiple Starbucks across the DMV strike on Red Cup Day

The strike is to take a stand to get workers better pay, more consistent schedules and higher staffing levels in busy stores.

WASHINGTON — On one of the biggest days of the year for Starbucks, workers at more than 100 U.S. stores, including some in the DMV, are on strike Thursday in their largest labor action since a campaign to unionize the company’s stores began late last year.

The walkouts are happening on the same day as the annual Red Cup Day, when Starbucks gives free reusable cups to customers who order a holiday drink. It is known to be one of the busiest days of the year for the coffee company.

The strike is intended to take a stand to get workers better pay, more consistent schedules and higher staffing levels in busy stores. Stores in 25 states planned to take part in the labor action, according to Starbucks Workers United, the group organizing the effort. Strikers are handing out their own red cups with union logos.

A store in Falls Church and Arlington, Virginia, along with one in Olney, Maryland are included in the strike, according to a map on Starbucks Workers United website. Workers at a store in Richmond, Virginia, as well as Baltimore and White Marsh, Maryland are also walking out.

MAP: Protest locations

Starbucks, which opposes the unionization effort, said it is aware of the walkouts and respects its employees' right to lawfully protest.

“We remain committed to all partners and will continue to work together, side-by-side, to make Starbucks a company that works for everyone," the company said Thursday in a statement.

Some workers planned to picket in protest all day while others will do shorter walkouts. The union said the goal is to shut stores down during the strikes, and noted that the company usually has difficulty staffing during Red Cup Day because of how busy it is.

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