MEMPHIS, Tenn. – Another rally was held in support of seven Memphis Starbucks workers who were laid off last month after joining the growing union organizing movement.
Dozens of people gathered for the group known as “The Memphis Seven”. The group is now gaining national attention.
RELATED: Starbucks lays off Memphis workers who plan to unionize after company says it violated policy
The March 8 march was led by North Carolina-based civil rights activist Reverend William Barber, co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign.
It started at the Benjamin Hooks Central Library and ended outside the Starbucks store on Poplar Ave. near the University of Memphis.
“Wishing me better for everyone I work with shouldn’t have gotten me fired,” said Nikki Taylor, one of the fired employees.
“I really appreciated seeing everyone come out and show us that we’re supported,” said Kylie Throckmorton, one of the laid off employees. “I miss making drinks. I miss seeing my clients and everything, but I know we’ll be back.
Starbucks said the workers were fired for violating store policies, including several regarding safety.
However, Casey Moore, a Starbucks employee who traveled all the way from New York to attend the march, said those policies were never enforced.
“Starbucks has chosen to selectively apply policies that have never been consistently applied before as an excuse to fire these people, and that’s not fair,” she said.
Marching for a union and for better working conditions: this is a fight that this group does not give up.
“Starbucks didn’t silence us. Starbucks made more noise for us. We’re going to keep getting louder until we get what we want,” Taylor said.
Laid off Memphis Starbucks workers are due to come to the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas this weekend to tell their stories and encourage other workers to fight for unions.
The layoffs have sparked rallies and protests across the country, including outside Starbucks headquarters in Seattle.
The Memphis Seven said they were confident they would get justice and their jobs would be restored.
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