Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Brave Ones

Of all the many activists and peacemakers I've had a chance to meet and interview over the past three years, Cole Dorsey of Grand Rapids is one of most impressive.  As an I.W.W. labor union organizer, Dorsey has stood by his principles in fighting for workers rights at Starbucks.  He was fired from the East Grand Rapids store and is one of the many blotches on the Starbucks record of union busting in the U.S. and elsewhere across the globe.  Dorsey won his case against the coffee giant, but was not re-instated by the NLRB.  He continues to fight for workers' rights at Starbucks and recently brought his story to the NorthStar Center in Lansing, Michigan (USA).

Joining Dorsey at the NorthStar Center were equally-impressive I.W.W. union organizers/activists from Minnesota, Erik Forman and April Gardner.  They told their stories about fighting for workers' rights at Starbucks, a similar story with the same union-busting company at the center of the struggle.  

In this day and age of economic meltdown in America, we need more brave people like Dorsey, Forman, and Gardner.  I hope you take the time to listen to their stories.  It will give you pause every time you step into a Starbucks, if you decide to go back to that store at all.

Click here to see the panel discussion in its entirety and here for the full Q and A session.
-- Rico Thomas Rico

Cole Dorsey
I.W.W. Starbucks Union Organizer, Michigan

Erik Forman
I.W.W. Starbucks Union Organizer, Minnesota

April Gardner
I.W.W. Starbucks Union Organizers, Minnesota

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