Starbucks workers at more than 100 stores went on strike Thursday during the coffee franchise’s Red Cup Day, one of the company’s busiest days of the year.
It’s the workers’ largest labor action since a campaign to unionize the company’s stores began late last year.
During the annual Red Cup Day Starbucks gives free reusable cups to customers who order a holiday drink. The company declined to tell reporters how many red cups it plans to distribute this year.
Workers at stores in 25 states planned to take part in the walkout—and hand out red cups of their own with union logos on them, according to Starbucks Workers United, the group organizing the effort. They said they’re seeking better pay, more consistent schedules and more staffing at busy locations.
Starbucks, which opposes the unionization effort, said it respects its employees’ right to lawfully protest. The company noted that the protests are happening at a small number of its 9,000 U.S. locations.
“We remain committed to all partners and will continue to work together, side-by-side, to make Starbucks a company that works for everyone,” the company said Thursday in a statement.