‘Boycott Starbucks’ trends online after coffee chain scraps vaccine regulations 

Starbucks receive backlash after scraping the Biden administration's vaccine mandate (Image via livinlikelanny and whitehouse/ Instagram)
Starbucks receive backlash after scraping the Biden administration's vaccine mandate (Image via livinlikelanny and whitehouse/ Instagram)

Coffee giant Starbucks is receiving backlash online after the company decided to scrap vaccine regulations. The revelation came after the Supreme Court rejected the Biden administration's workplace vaccine mandate.

The company announced that their employees would no longer be mandated to be vaccinated before February 9 or take a weekly COVID test, resulting in #boycottstarbucks to trend on social media.

Starbucks removes mandate for COVID vaccination

On January 3, the company mandated all its employees to provide vaccination proof before February 9 or get weekly tested post the date.

The rule came following the current assembly's vaccine mandate, requiring organizations to ensure their employees are vaccinated or covid negative. However, it got rejected by the supreme court about a week ago. The court ruled,

“Although Covid-19 is a risk that occurs in many workplaces, it is not an occupational hazard in most.”

Following the Supreme Court's verdict, CEO John Culver said, “We respect the court’s ruling and will comply,” disengaging the vaccine mandate rules.

A company spokesperson told The Independent that the company had not changed the policy on its own and was following guidelines provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

Customers disagree with the new regulations

Many customers were against the cancelation of the rule, questioning the safety of the outlets, and many decided to avoid purchasing from the brand, making the #boycottstarbucks trend on Twitter.

They can drop the mandates, but we still should #BoycottStarbucksCorporate greed didn’t care about lives when it mattered most!…
Starbucks is now serving COVID-19 with that delicious hot coffee. No vaccination for employees = COVID-19 for everybody #BoycottStarbucks
There are plenty of good reasons to not drink @Starbucks. Their product is overpriced and overrated. There are plenty of Mom & Pop coffee shops.Reversing their earlier policy to require employees to be vaccinated is another good reason to #BoycottStarbucks.
I will not go to Starbucks or anywhere that does not require workers to be vaxxed. Our health is worth self-advocating for. #boycottstarbucks…
Time to #BoycottStarbucks…
I have been a gold star ⭐ member of the @Starbucks rewards program for at least 10 years. I will not buy another item from your company until you reinstate the vaccine mandates. You're jeopardizing the health of your customers.#BoycottStarbucks…
People should #BoycottStarbucks not just for backtracking on public safety but for being so virulently anti-union. They don’t care about their workers when it comes down to it.
I don't know @Starbucks --If you don't care if they are vaccinated or not why would I assume that you care if they come to work all COVIDY? Hard to trust you now. #BoycottStarbucks

Meanwhile, the brand also found supporters who called the company's decision "medical choice freedom."

People boycotting Starbucks for giving their employees their freedom…if you’re really that scared then make your coffee at home and just stay home🤦‍♀️
I bought Starbucks today. Because freedom of medical choice matters
I love Starbucks. Thank you for believing in FREEDOM. 🇺🇸 On my way to get me some delicious Starbucks. I am not going to #BoycottStarbucks.

After the uproar on social media, the company tried to damage-control the situation with tweets reassuring that 90 percent of their employees had already been vaccinated. The company will keep promoting safety precautions in its workplace.

@MouseEars4950 We believe that vaccinations and boosters are the best way to protect yourself and others, so we encourage all partners (employees) to be vaccinated. 💚
@postmoderngenx While the OSHA ETS is now paused, we continue to believe strongly in the spirit and intent of the mandate and encourage all partners to get vaccinated.

Biden's administration slammed the Supreme Court's verdict and announced that the decision is risking the health of citizens who will consume from unvaccinated establishments. Jen Psaki, press secretary of the White House, said:

“The Supreme Court’s decision on the OSHA mandate essentially means that in this pandemic it is up to individual employers to determine whether their workplaces will be safe for employees, and whether their businesses will be safe for consumers.”

It is yet to be seen how many establishments will continue to follow the workplace vaccine mandate.

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Edited by Srijan Sen
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