Starbucks violated labor laws because of unionization, judge rules

by Ana Lopez

In a ruling released Wednesday, a National Labor Relations Board judge will hear 32 complaints against Starbucks alleging unfair labor practices — saying Starbucks has engaged in “blatant and widespread misconduct demonstrating general disregard for fundamental rights.” of the employees”.

The judge, Michael Rosas, also said the company should stop disrespecting workers’ rights and rehire some workers who were fired due to union action at Starbucks stores in and near Buffalo, New York.

The more than 200-page ruling relates to the judge’s decision on individual employee cases of unfair labor practices, such as Cassie Fleischer, who complained that her request to change her schedule was rejected amid her participation in union activities. In her case, plus seven other employees who were “discriminatoryly fired”, the company must rehire the workers, the judge wrote.

The ruling also says Starbucks must refrain from “promising its employees higher benefits and better benefits if they refrain from union activity,” take photos of employees wearing union pins, close stores or reduce hours to consider unionization, among other things. orders.

The first Starbucks united in 2021 Buffalo. To date, 282 stores have voted to join a union and have been certified by the NLRB, per CNN.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz told the outlet in February that unions are “in many ways a manifestation of a much bigger problem.” In the same interview, he also said that he do don’t “think a union has a place in Starbucks.”

However, this ruling means a victory for the organizers and Starbucks Workers United, (SWU) a major force in organizing Starbucks locations. The website says it has helped more than 278 stores unite.

SWU is a labor organization affiliated with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), which has existed since 1921 and claims to employ around 2 million members.

In a statement from SWU, Gary Bonadonna, the manager of the Rochester Regional Joint Board of Workers United (part of SEIU), called the ruling “historic.” according to CNN.

“We will not rest until every Starbucks employee has the right to organize,” he said in the statement. SWU too tweeted about the statement.

Starbucks said, according to the outlet, that it is weighing its legal options and that it “believes[s] the decision and the remedies ordered are inappropriate given the track record in this case.”

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