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Starbucks fires 20 union organizers

New York Teacher

Starbucks is using aggressive tactics to squash the efforts of workers seeking to unionize at the world’s largest coffeehouse chain.

Baristas at more than 250 stores in 35 states have filed petitions for union elections. Starbucks CEO Howard Shultz has publicly opposed the organizing drive. In a leaked video call with managers in April, he told them his faith and confidence in the company “is based on my faith and confidence in you, not some outside force that’s going to dictate or disrupt who we are and what we do.”

Starbucks has fired more than 20 union leaders. The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued complaints over many of the dismissals, ordering reinstatement and back pay for seven workers in Memphis, Tennessee; three in Overland, Kansas; six in Buffalo, New York; and three in Arizona. Since late 2021, the NLRB has accused Starbucks of more than 200 violations of federal labor laws, and its regional offices have issued complaints against the company in 45 cases.

Workers at several stores have held strikes to protest the company’s opposition to union organizing.

Sixty-nine Starbucks stores had voted to form unions as of May 13, nine stores voted against, and the outcome of six union elections remains pending due to challenged ballots, according to the NLRB.

Starbucks recently announced new benefits for all employees except for workers at unionized stores.

The Guardian, May 4, 19

Related Topics: Labor issues