Woman accuses Starbucks olive oil drinks of being a PR stunt
A TikToker accused Starbuck’s new olive oil drink – which has gone viral many times for the wrong reasons – of being a PR stunt to distract from the CEO’s anti-union efforts.
The video was appropriately posted by @aflcio, also known as the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations, the country’s largest union federation. According to its website, the organization represents 12.5 million workers in 60 national and international trade unions.
The TikTok begins with a sting from another creator asking people to “please tell them” that the Starbucks olive oil drinks are “a joke.”
“This can’t be real,” said the Creator.
A person who appears to be a member of the AFL-CIO sewed up their theory in response. She pointed out that it was “very interesting” that Starbucks was distributing the “disgusting” olive oil drinks the same week that the company’s former CEO and co-founder Howard Schultz testified before the US Senate, “apparently under oath.” lie”. his anti-union and violation of the Federal Labor Code.
Schultz denies any laws were broken.
Since the first Starbucks unionized in late 2022, nearly 300 Starbucks stores have also unionized. However, neither was able to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement, and the company has closed some pro-union locations, CBS News reported.
Starbucks has “repeatedly” violated labor laws by firing pro-union workers, interrogating them and threatening to remove benefits if employees organized, a spokesman for the National Labor Relations Board told CBS News.
“Starbucks has become the most aggressively anti-union company in America,” Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said during a congressional hearing on allegations of Starbuck’s unionism.
@aflcio #stitch with @_.partycitykazoo._ The math IS NOT math, and it’s a clear PR ploy by Starbucks to distract from how they’re obviously breaking the law. More clips from today’s crazy hearing coming soon. #unionstrong #unions #aflcio #starbucksunion ♬ O-Ton – AFL-CIO
The AFL-CIO union official said the company knew the new drink would generate a lot of online reactions because it looked gross. She included a photo of the ice version of the drink, which looks like a regular ice cream latte but has a thickened layer of oil on top. Definitely not an appetizing sight.
The union member compared the alleged PR move to Gwenyth Paltrow’s strategy in which she went viral for speaking out about her barely eating the same week she was on trial for her skiing accident.
“The math IS NOT math, and it’s a clear PR strategy by Starbucks to distract from how they’re blatantly breaking the law,” the caption read.
The video has more than 170,000 views and nearly 200 comments.
Several people agreed with the theory of the person.
“Like rebranding Facebook to Meta once the whistleblower stuff came out,” one person said.
“Quite literally every time something viral happens, I assume it’s a corporate cover-up for something,” added one commenter.
“I’ve never seen them sell so much drinks that not even all US stores have them, there’s no reason other than this,” said another.
Other commenters joked about how this potential PR move went behind the scenes.
“It’s very funny to imagine someone in Starbucks PR saying, ‘We’ve prepared and it’s about time. Jerry bring out the olive oil drinks,'” one person commented.
The Daily Dot emailed AFL-CIO and Starbucks for comment.
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*Initial publication: April 8, 2023 7:36 pm CDT
Stacy Fernández is a freelance writer, project manager and communications specialist. She has worked for The Texas Tribune, The Dallas Morning News and Social Social for The Education Trust New York. Her favorite hobby is finding hidden gems in thrift stores, she loves good audio books and is a chocolate enthusiast.