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Starbucks scraps vaccine mandate after Supreme Court ruling

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Yahoo Finance's Dani Romero joins the Live show to break down Starbucks's decision to no longer require its U.S. workers to get vaccinated or submit weekly testing.

Video Transcript

- Shares of Starbucks holding on to some gains on the day here. This even after #BoycottStarbucks was trending on Twitter. That after the company changed its coronavirus vaccine policy in alliance with the Supreme Court's ruling. For more on this, I want to bring in Yahoo Finance's own Dani Romero. Dani, what can you tell us?

DANI ROMERO: Yeah, Starbucks is facing major criticism after the company announced that it would no longer require its US workers to get vaccinated or submit that weekly testing. But this is all after two weeks ago, the company announced that they would require their workers to get vaccinated and submit that weekly testing. However, that was before the Supreme Court ruling ruled against the Biden administration's effort to compel companies to adopt that type of mandate. Starbucks chief operating officer specifically cited the ruling in a statement to workers about their change in policy.

But the hashtag, like you said, #BoycottStarbucks has been trending on Twitter with consumers saying they will no longer go to a company that does not require its workers to get vaccinated. I reached out to SB Workers United, the group fueling the unionization efforts at Starbucks, for comment. And they sent us this statement that reads, in part, Starbucks reversed their vaccine mandate without discussing the issue or negotiating about it with its unionized partners at Elmwood and at Genesis stores, which are two stores in Buffalo, New York.

Another comment from a barista is, we truly appreciate the care and concern our community shares with us regarding Starbucks's decision to ax the vaccine rule. It's up to customers on whether they choose to boycott. But if you're looking for some tangible ways to help your baristas get vaccinated, donate that K95 masks, complain to corporate, and cheer on folks fighting for a voice in the company. And again, that was from a barista in Boston.

We reached out to Starbucks for a comment in regards to the criticism, and they referred me back to the letter that they had sent to their workers, which says we strongly encourage all US partners to get vaccinated and encourage disclosing their vaccination status. Also in that letter, it states that 90% of workers have fully disclosed their vaccination status and that the vast majority are fully vaccinated. Again, the company employs about 228,000 workers. Akiko, Brad.

AKIKO FUJITA: Yeah, Dani, the reaction on both sides speaks to just how polarizing this issue has become, but certainly a story to follow. Thanks so much for that.