Press releases

Target Starbucks: Tax justice and justice for workers!

8th December 2012

The LRC is taking part in the UK Uncut Day of Action tomorrow (Saturday 8 December). We will be meeting outside The Rocket (corner of Euston Road and Chalton Street, NW1) at 2pm – before proceeding to the Starbucks branch at 93 Euston Road.

The LRC forced the issue of tax justice onto the Labour Party conference agenda in 2010 in a motion passed overwhelmingly that called for the Party to “mount a campaign to highlight tax avoidance” (full text here). The motion was moved by the GMB union – which organises Starbucks workers.

As part of our occupation we will be standing up for workers’ rights (see our Justice for Starbucks workers leaflet) – highlighting that while the company avoids tax (and now thinks it is a voluntary donation) it also fails to pay its staff the living wage and is now attacking their terms and conditions. So as well as informing the public, we will be urging workers to join the union to improve their working conditions.

John McDonnell MP, LRC chair, said:

“The LRC was among the first to support the campaign for tax justice and to support the direct action of UK Uncut. We are now adding our support to the next wave of direct action to confront tax avoiders like Starbucks, and to stand up for workers’ rights.

“Our public services are being starved of the resources they need by these tax dodgers and our job is to confront them whenever we can.”

Andrew Fisher, LRC joint secretary, said:

“UK Uncut has shown that companies cannot act with impunity while avoiding the obligations to pay their taxes, but neither can they remain untouched when they fail to pay their staff a living wage or attack their working conditions – even while making token gestures on tax.

“People power put pressure on Starbucks over tax. We now need to make them act on paying their staff a decent wage – and the best way for that to be sustained is by their workers being organised in a trade union.”


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