NLRB found Starbucks illegally threatened, interrogated and fired workers. Another victory for organized workers against wicked corporate union-busters, this time at "liberal" icon, Starbucks, whose stock grading symbol is SBUX (how evocative).
Friday, February 17, 2023
Starbucks Illegally Threatened and Punished Activists, US Labor Board Rules. (Bloomberg)
Starbucks Illegally Threatened and Punished Activists,
Josh Eidelson Mon, February 13, 2023, 9:38 PM EST·1 min read In this article:
Starbucks Corp. illegally threatened, interrogated, and terminated pro-union employees in Philadelphia, the US labor board ruled.
In a Monday decision, a panel of three Democratic members of the National Labor Relations Board ordered Starbucks to “cease and desist” from prohibiting staff from raising workplace complaints, placing them under surveillance when engaged in collective action, and discriminating against baristas for supporting labor groups.
The decision also ordered the company to offer reinstatement with backpay to two terminated activists. In an emailed statement, Starbucks said, “We disagree with the decision and are considering all options to obtain a full legal review of the matter.” The company has said repeatedly that all claims against it of antiunion activity are “categorically false.” NLRB rulings can be appealed in federal court.
The dispute involves workplace activism in 2019, before the launch of the current Starbucks Workers United campaign which has reached hundreds of the company’s US cafes. Regional directors of the NLRB across the country have issued dozens of pending complaints accusing the company of breaking the law in its response to that more recent campaign, including by threatening and firing activists. Agency judges have recently ruled against the company in several of those cases, including finding that the company threatened workers with the loss of healthcare and free tuition benefits if they unionized.