“I’m so happy with this result,” said Florentino Escobar, one of the fired Starbucks baristas. “This is one more step to make Starbucks a better place.”
In light of a fierce anti-union campaign led by Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, the ruling marks a crucial victory for the campaign to unify Starbucks, one of the most promising moves the labor movement has seen in a generation.
Starbucks union efforts have contributed to a major surge in union election submissions this year, including the first union wins at Amazon, Trader Joe’s and Apple stores.
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Reggie Borges, a Starbucks spokesperson, said the company respects the union process and will “negotiate in good faith,” but would also appeal the ruling and ask for the order to be postponed, which could result in an interruption of business. the recovery until the assessment is completed. rounded.
“We strongly disagree with the judge’s ruling in this case,” Borges said. “These individuals have violated numerous policies and failed to maintain a safe work environment and safety standards. Interest in a union does not exempt partners from following policies designed to protect partners, our customers and the communities we serve.”
Last week, Starbucks asked the NLRB to “immediately suspend all Starbucks ballot papers nationwide” following a whistleblower’s report that NLRB employees in Kansas had interfered with election processes.
“Howard Schultz thought he was terrifying an entire nation of baristas by firing the Memphis organizing committee,” said Richard Bensinger, lead organizer of the Starbucks Workers United campaign. “Fortunately, a federal judge has determined that Schultz is not above the law.”
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All seven baristas fired in Memphis were in favor of joining Starbucks Workers United, a division of Workers United. Five of them were on the organizing committee. The NLRB announced in June that employees of the Memphis store had voted 11-3 at the store to unite.
More than 220 Starbucks stores have voted to unionize since December last year. According to the NLRB, 47 stores voted against unionization.
Meanwhile, the union says Starbucks has fired at least 75 union leaders and union baristas, according to Starbucks Workers United, creating a chilling effort for new union elections, the union said.
The NLRB has filed more than 19 complaints against Starbucks for violating union rights, according to the agency. The agency is also investigating more than 286 charges of unfair labor practices, most of which have been brought against Starbucks. Many of these relate to allegations that Starbucks illegally fired employees associated with the organization.
“Today’s federal court decision ordering Starbucks to reinstate the seven illegally fired Starbucks employees in Memphis is a critical step to ensure that these employees, and all Starbucks employees, can freely exercise their right to work together to improve their working conditions and form a trade union. Jennifer Abruzzo, general counsel to the NLRB, said in a statement.