'This Is What We Serve Ourselves and Customers': Starbucks Employees Strike Over Mold, Allegedly Hazardous Conditions The workers claim they are working next to black mold and bed bugs.

By Sam Silverman

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Starbucks workers are spilling the tea.

Employees from Starbucks' New York City flagship store in the Meatpacking District are striking over what they claim are "gross" conditions.

Workers based out of the Reserve Roastery on 9th avenue have been on strike since Tuesday claiming the location is committing several health code violations, including the prevalence of bed bugs and black mold, per Patch.

Employees took to the streets to inform people about the alleged conditions just months after being the first Starbucks to unionize in the city.

Employee Laura Garza said the alleged health hazards are mostly in the back house and have persisted since unionizing in April. "This includes a moldy ice machine that we are not equipped to properly remediate, and which are still in current use, as well as the more recent situation with bed bugs being found in the Roastery," she told Patch.

"Proper protocols and communication regarding bed bugs is scarce," she continued. "All the while, we haven't heard a peep from Starbucks about bargaining our contract."

Starbucks told the New York Post they are investigating the legitimacy of the photos and claims.

"Store management was made aware of a potential pest issue. They arranged for pest control service to inspect and treat the property per protocol," a spokesperson for the brand told the outlet. "Monday, the provider visited the Roastery location and found no infestation or insect activity. The pest control service gave the location the all-clear to re-open on Tuesday."

However, another bed bug was found shortly after the inspection, an employee who was there at the time told Vice.

Entrepreneur has reached out to Starbucks for comment.

Sam Silverman

Content Strategy Editor

Sam Silverman is a content strategy editor at Entrepreneur Media. She specializes in search engine optimization (SEO), and her work can be found in The US Sun, Nicki Swift, In Touch Weekly, Life & Style and Health. She writes for our news team with a focus on investigating scandals. Her coverage and expertise span from business news, entrepreneurship, technology, and true crime, to the latest in entertainment and TV news. Sam is a graduate of Lehigh University and currently resides in NYC. 

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