NLRB: Starbucks violated labor laws, must negotiate with Roastery union

Dec 1, 2022, 2:48 PM
Starbucks union...
Starbucks Reserve Roastery (Flickr)

A victory for workers at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery on Capitol Hill after the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) ruled Starbucks violated labor laws by refusing to bargain with unionized employees.

The unanimous decision made by the three-member panel ordered  Starbucks’ subsidiary, Siren Retail Corp., to negotiate with the new union.

Union participates in ‘Red Cup Rebellion’ at Seattle Starbucks

“By failing and refusing since July 14, 2022, to recognize and bargain with the Union as the exclusive collective-bargaining representative of the employees in the appropriate unit, the Respondent has engaged in unfair labor practices,” the ruling reads.

The Starbucks Roastery workers voted to join a union, “Starbucks Workers United,” by a 38-27 margin in April. The election was certified in May by the NLRB.

Liz Duran, an employee at the roastery and union representative, says that the decision is a huge win and important in getting union recognition at the location.

“We are happy to see that the NLRB saw through Starbucks’ obvious attempts at union busting and delaying bargaining by ruling in our favor,” Duran said. “This is yet another example of the many instances of Starbucks being reprimanded for their actions that violate federal law over the past year of this movement that has empowered workers in Starbucks and beyond.”

The Seattle store joined more than 250 Starbucks locations that have voted to unionize over the past few years, including 11 other locations that have unionized in Seattle.

The board ordered Starbucks to recognize and bargain with the union and post a notice with employees’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act.

When KIRO Newsradio reached out for a comment, Starbucks did not provide a response. Starbucks told The Seattle Times it plans to appeal the board’s decision.

Once Starbucks moves away from its ‘Third Place’ model, what does it have left to offer?

This is not the first violation that Starbucks has faced from the NLRB, as the coffee giant is facing at least 20 allegations of unfair labor practices and illegal union busting. This includes allegations that Starbucks was withholding pay hikes and other benefits from stores that have voted to unionize.

So what does this decision mean for the roastery and the unionization movement within Starbucks as a whole? Liz Duran might have an answer.

“I’m excited to finally move into the next step of the process and to get to a bargaining table and to win us a fair contract,” Duran said. “The Reserve Roastery is supposed to be the flagship of the company, why not lead by example and show your willingness to bargain in good faith with us and be a model for the rest of the country?”

Local News

lunar new year...
Gwen Baumgardner, KIRO 7 News

Hundreds gather at Seattle’s Wing Luke Museum to ring in the Lunar New Year

The Wing Luke Museum welcomed anyone to join in their annual event, and hundreds of families came together for a day of performances, music, and tradition.
18 hours ago
Frank Sumrall

Seattle Kraken’s best-kept secret this year? Goalie coach Steve Briere

Martin Jones was a cast-off. Grubauer lost his edge. And the Kraken's defense looked bleak — until goalie coachSteve Briere showed up.
18 hours ago
Jake Chapman, KIRO 7 News

Vigil in place at intersection where 23-year-old was hit and killed by SPD officer

Friday evening, dozens of cyclists dedicated their ride to Kandula. They started at Westlake Center and made their way to the intersection.
18 hours ago
pet sales...
Kevin Ko, KIRO 7 News

WA lawmakers discuss bill to ban for-profit pet sales at retail stores

The bill would also disallow retail pet stores from financing “or make a loan for the purchase of a dog or cat,” according to the bill.
2 days ago
Frank Sumrall

Seattle protests tame following release of Tyre Nichols footage

Seattle is preparing for city-wide protests over what the Memphis Police Chief described as “acts that defy humanity.”
2 days ago
lake stevens...
L.B. Gilbert

Lake Stevens HS employee arrested for alleged sexual misconduct

A Lake Stevens School District employee is under arrest after being suspected of improper sexual contact with at least one child.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

safety from crime...

As crime increases, our safety measures must too

It's easy to be accused of fearmongering regarding crime, but Seattle residents might have good reason to be concerned for their safety.
Comcast Ready for Business Fund...
Ilona Lohrey | President and CEO, GSBA

GSBA is closing the disparity gap with Ready for Business Fund

GSBA, Comcast, and other partners are working to address disparities in access to financial resources with the Ready for Business fund.

Medicare open enrollment is here and SHIBA can help!

The SHIBA program – part of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner – is ready to help with your Medicare open enrollment decisions.
Lake Washington Windows...

Choosing Best Windows for Your Home

Lake Washington Windows and Doors is a local window dealer offering the exclusive Leak Armor installation.
Anacortes Christmas Tree...

Come one, come all! Food, Drink, and Coastal Christmas – Anacortes has it all!

Come celebrate Anacortes’ 11th annual Bier on the Pier! Bier on the Pier takes place on October 7th and 8th and features local ciders, food trucks and live music - not to mention the beautiful views of the Guemes Channel and backdrop of downtown Anacortes.
Swedish Cyberknife Treatment...

The revolutionary treatment of Swedish CyberKnife provides better quality of life for majority of patients

There are a wide variety of treatments options available for men with prostate cancer. One of the most technologically advanced treatment options in the Pacific Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform at Swedish Medical Center.
NLRB: Starbucks violated labor laws, must negotiate with Roastery union