Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Stop Starbucks ...?

I got an email today from Brave New Films, a great group known for bringing some of the evils of Walmart into the light for everyone to see. They sent me a link to the following video and a website to Stop Starbucks:

The shitstamp on the forehead of Starbucks, according to this video and its sources, is that Starbucks is engaging in union-busting activities. Okay, bad on them. That should stop.

But Brave New Films goes a few steps too far in demonizing Starbucks as something equivalent to Walmart. And they're not. And that's not fair if we're going to be claiming to stand upon principles based on all the facts.

How about the differences between Starbucks and Walmart?
  • Starbucks has always paid well over minimum wage and offers benefits to part-time workers as well as quick advancement to dedicated employees.
  • Walmart trims corners everywhere, refusing to pay anywhere close to a living wage, seldom offering benefits, has issues with equal pay and advancement for women.

  • Starbucks gets involved in local, community projects to improve the neighborhood in which they're located.
  • Walmart creates acres of parking lots, local traffic problems, and barely-scraping-by poor.

  • Starbucks has engaged the Free Trade program, making sure the coffee growers are getting a fair cut for the product they supply.
  • Walmart is known for strong-arming their suppliers into shifting their manufacturing to China, killing thousands of manufacturing jobs and exploiting millions of Chinese men, women, and children.

If we're going to complain about something - and something that by all counts needs to be exposed - then do it fairly and without the sensationalism. Otherwise we're filling our pleas with as much bullshit as the Right Wing anytime they raise an issue. And then who would believe our causes?

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