Starbucks Claims Union-Organizers Harassed Workers In Complaint To Labor Board
Howard Schultz, back in control of Starbucks, has finally started to deliver on his reputation as a union-buster: the company on Wednesday filed two complaints with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that the union organizing its baristas has violated federal law.
In the complaints filed with the NLRB, Starbucks alleges that Workers United “unlawfully restrained and coerced partners in the exercise of their rights,” citing activity at two of its cafes in Denver and Phoenix.
These incidents “we believe have crossed the line and we have filed an unfair labor practice charge with the NLRB,” Starbucks said in an email.
The complaint alleges that union organizers shouted profanity at customers and hit cars with a picket sign as they tried to enter and exit the Denver location. The complaint doesn’t offer any detail about when this incident occurred, but workers at the Denver cafe named in the filing held a strike March 11 to protest what they called unfair working conditions.
The Phoenix location mentioned in the filings is the same cafe that is at the center of the NLRB’s complaints against Starbucks.
“We’re doing this to protect the physical safety and emotional wellbeing of our partners and to make it very clear that the behavior we’re seeing from some union organizers is not acceptable and we won’t tolerate it,” Rossann Williams, president of Starbucks’ North American operations, wrote in a letter to employees viewed by CNBC.
“I want every partner to know we respect and honor all their rights – the right to choose a union, and the right to choose to speak for themselves,” Williams added.
Bloomberg reports that, Workers United said, in an email, that the charges are “a continuation of Starbucks’ war against its own partners” and a sign of “desperation” as the company “loses this war in battle after battle.”
Workers at more than 200 of the coffee chain’s locations have filed paperwork to unionize under Workers United since August and so far, 24 stores have voted to unionize, with only two voting against.
Wed, 04/20/2022 – 18:10