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Starbucks Union Sides with Hamas on Social Media

Sigal Bezborodko ’26

Two days after Hamas launched a series of attacks on Israeli civilians, Starbucks Workers United posted “Solidarity with Palestine!” on X, the social media platform previously known as Twitter. In the forty minutes the post was up, Starbucks received over a thousand complaints about the union workers’ post and provoked the retaliation of many hostile customers. Workers began receiving threatening phone calls, and vandals spray-painted the windows of Starbucks stores. In Rhode Island, a Starbucks window was covered with spray-painted Stars of David and swastikas. On Oct. 11, Randy Fine, a Republican Florida state representative, posted on X, “If you go to Starbucks, you are supporting killing Jews.” 

Another Republican lawmaker, senator Rick Scott (R-FL), called for boycotts of Starbucks.

 This series of online posts resulted in a legal battle between Starbucks and Starbucks Workers United. On Oct. 18, Starbucks sued the union in an Iowa court, claiming that the pro-Palestinian social media post angered hundreds of customers and damaged their reputation. In addition, Starbucks sued for trademark infringement, demanding that Starbucks Workers United stop using their name and logo.

 The union refused to submit to these demands and claimed that Starbucks defamed them by implying that they support terrorism and violence. 

Starbucks and SEIU, the parent company of the Workers Union, have both issued an official statement expressing sympathy for innocent victims in Israel and Gaza; however, the union itself has not. Though this case was resolved in court, the ideas behind the union’s post linger. 


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