BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — State Senator Tim Kennedy joined Starbucks workers Saturday in Buffalo calling for a national boycott of the green coffee giant.

“When the leaders of this multi-billion dollar corporation are treating the work force that our community depends on with such disregard and disrespect, the only thing we can do as a community is fight back with our pocket books,” said NYS Senator Tim Kennedy (D) at the protest. “We’re not going to stand for it and because of that I’m calling for not only a boycott of Starbucks Stores here in New York State, but all across the country. I’m calling for a national boycott until these workers are rightfully reinstated, and Starbucks begins the recognize their workforce and allow them to organize once in for all.”

Saturday’s protest happened outside the Starbucks store on Delaware Avenue at Chippewa protesting what they call is “Starbucks’ union-busting campaign.”

According to Starbucks Workers United, Allegra Anastasi, an eight-year shift supervisor at that location was fired on Friday and told it was in response to being late to work. The union says the real reason is Anastasi was apart of the unionizing effort.

“I was the tenth person to be fired yesterday at 8 a.m. in the middle of running my shift and it was really emotional and I was very distraught about it but I’m so happy that everybody here is supportive,” Anastasia said. “I feel like I’m so small and they’re so big but we like to have public support and to have people that are like ‘We should boycott Starbucks until you get what you need.’ That means everything.”

A week before Labor Day, the protestors are calling for people at home to take a stand with them and get their caffeine fix somewhere else, to help raise awareness and support their union.

“Since these workers have stepped up and taken action in Buffalo over 200 stores in this great country have begun to organize and it’s a message from the workers that they should be taken seriously, that they should be treated with respect and the dignity they earn everyday and that they rightfully deserve,” NYS Sen. Kennedy said.

According to the workers union, the National Labor Relations Board is currently prosecuting Starbucks for over 200 violations of labor law in Western New York.

News 4 has reached out to Starbucks for a comment regarding Senator Kennedy’s call for a nation-wide boycott as well as for their clarification regarding firing Anastasi and we have not heard back from this at this time.

Hope Winter is a reporter and multimedia journalist who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.