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Honk! Honk! All Aboard the Starbucks Strike Bus.

Plus weed FAQs, racist rants, and killer burgers in today's Flyover news roundup.

Starbucks Workers United|

Unionized Twin Cities Starbucks workers pose in front of the strike bus—which is a term Racket apparently invented but will continue to use—Monday in St. Paul.

Welcome back to The Flyover, your daily digest of what local media outlets and Twitter-ers are gabbing about.

Venti Solidarity

Unionized Twin Cities Starbucks workers received a boost of solidarity Monday when U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum joined ‘em in St. Paul to send off the "Union Is Calling" bus. The bus in question will spend the next month rolling to 13 cities "to increase pressure and call on Starbucks to bargain in good faith,” according to Starbucks Workers United. Workers from two of six union Minnesota Starbucks locations (300 Snelling Ave. S. in St. Paul and 4712 Cedar Ave. in Minneapolis) went on strike yesterday to give speeches alongside the congresswoman outside of Minnesota AFL-CIO HQ. Bloomberg News reports that Starbucks is “racking up” federal labor law violations as it viciously fights back against the union wave that, so far, has swept up 328 of its 15,000 U.S. cafes. We caught up with a local union barista last month, Elizabeth Lorraine Mitchell of the Cedar Avenue shop, to hear about contract negotiations and company retaliations.

On allegedly hostile managers…

“They’ve started writing people up for time and attendance, and using that as the reason they fire people. There has been an acceleration in the past couple months, and we know the people who are getting written up the most are being targeted.”

On the alleged withholding of credit card tipping…

“There are union stores in Minnesota that have credit card tipping, but it’s arbitrary nonsense. The non-union stores all have it. We have the technology, but at some union stores they won’t let you update and add the feature that allows tipping. Customers find it very confusing. The union position is that the company is withholding it.”  

On contract negotiations… 

“A lot of people assume we already have a contract. No stores have contracts. Company lawyers don’t want people observing negotiations on Zoom, so they’re using that as a reason to stop meetings… we'll have bargaining sessions, and they just leave. I feel like we’re waiting for the hammer to come down on them, in terms of labor law. The NLRB has told them they’re wrong, senators are calling them out… it feels like the labor actions are the only thing we can do now.” 

Soon You Can Legally Vape Weed on the Sidewalk, Probably

Weed smoke wafting from an apartment window, some guy openly smoking a doobie at a festival, taking a hit off a chillum in a friend’s backyard—these are all common occurrences, especially in the summer. But when recreational marijuana goes live in Minnesota next month, will those scenarios be legal? Yes and no, according to this really great MinnPost explainer from Peter Callaghan. “Struggling to read this law could drive someone to smoke some pot,” jokes policy attorney Larry McDonough.

The general consensus, so far, seems to be to err on the side of caution, using clean air rules around tobacco vapes and cigarettes as your guidepost. Indoor common spaces will still be a no-no, but patios that already allow smoking, as well as public sidewalks and alleys, could all be weed-friendly zones. Whether or not you can smoke in an apartment is up to your landlord, while homeowners can spark up anywhere on their heart desires on their property. So for now be polite and ask before you toke. In the meantime, enjoy this Dr. Seuss-inspired weed tweet from MinnPost:

Passenger Flips Out Racistly at Uber Driver

Oh, so now it’s illegal to repeatedly shout racial slurs at your Uber driver and then falsely accuse him of assaulting you to a police dispatcher? Whatever happened to the First Amendment? Jill Berquist was in court today, the Star Tribune reports, facing charges of falsely reporting a crime and disorderly conduct for an incident that occurred in April 2022, which was captured on video by her Uber driver, Wesley Gakuo. (If you don’t want to be exposed to an uncountable number of N-slurs, skip this one.)

To recap: After Berquist complains about the route Gakuo has taken, the driver pulls over on Hennepin Avenue and leaves his car. Berquist launches into her first tirade of slurs around the three-minute mark. She then calls 911 and claims she was hit in the face by a Black man (though she’s not done with the N-words then). Finally a man emerges and shouts, repeatedly and justifiably, “Get the fuck out of my neighborhood!” Berquist responds, confusingly/confusedly with: “I’m white. I live here. Black people don’t live here.” Berquist refused to talk to the Strib, but the 38-year-old woman’s mother assured the newspaper that “She didn’t do anything wrong” and “She has Black friends.” Gakuo, a 47-year-old who moved to Minnesota from Kenya in 1999, simply had this to say: "I hope she will figure a way for her life."

Hottest Burger in Town Finds Brick ‘n’ Mortar Home

Back in May, one dunderheaded Racket writer waited 1.5 hours in a suburban gun-shop parking lot to acquire cheeseburgers from Station No. 6, the food truck whose followers are “literally a cult,” owner Josh Matthews told us afterward. Remarkably, it was worth it. As of Wednesday, that cult will have a brick ‘n’ mortar compound in which to scarf O.G. Smash Burgers and Spicy Bois: Roseville’s Rosetown American Legion. Matthews tells Bring Me the News that the legion’s kitchen program was losing cash, so members decided to lease it out. Station No. 6 has installed new kitchen equipment, and plans to start dinner operations at 700 County Road C, Wednesdays through Saturdays from 4-8 p.m. "I love seeing people give me a thumbs up or tell me it’s the best burger they’ve ever had,” Matthews told us. “I just want to make good food and make people happy.”   

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