Starbucks fight goes to Supreme Court

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Despite multiple National Labor Relations Board (NLRB ) rulings that Starbucks repeatedly violated Labor law, the most serious potentially negative impact for Starbucks workers is on the horizon as the first appeal of an NLRB pro-worker decision will go before the U.S. Supreme Court whose “neutrality” is under serious question.

Last week Reuters reported that the Court agreed to hear a Starbucks challenge to a judicial decision that required it to rehire seven employees at a Memphis, Tenn., cafe that the NLRB determined were fired in 2022 for supporting unionization. This is the first case to reach the Supreme Court involving an ongoing nationwide campaign to unionize Starbucks stores.

The Memphis store is one of more than 370 Starbucks locations in the United States to unionize since 2021.

The NLRB concluded that Starbucks unlawfully fired the Memphis employees for supporting the union drive and to send a message to other workers. The 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in 2023 upheld a lower court’s decision faulting Starbucks.

More than 700 complaints have been filed with the NLRB accusing Starbucks of unlawful labor practices such as firing union supporters, spying on workers and closing stores during Labor campaigns.

REFUSAL TO BARGAIN
In the largest action yet against Starbucks by the NLRB since Starbucks Workers United started organizing across the country in 2021, officials have slapped the coffee chain giant with a far-reaching complaint accusing it of stonewalling collective bargaining efforts with new unions, Bloomberg reports.

The complaint alleges that Starbucks failed to provide union representatives with information they need to bargain effectively, like hiring dates, hours and scheduling information. A Starbucks worker in Oregon said in a statement provided by Starbucks Workers United that the complaint is “vindicating,” given how many members have experienced bad faith bargaining firsthand.


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