Union: Starbucks ‘not bargaining in good faith,’ files complaint

Dec 28, 2022, 4:07 PM | Updated: Jan 30, 2023, 8:25 am
Starbucks union...
A Starbucks Coffee shop is seen in the background as people gather at Westlake Park during the "Fight Starbucks' Union Busting" rally and march in Seattle, Washington on April 23, 2022. (Photo by Jason Redmond / AFP) (Photo by JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images)

Starbucks is not “bargaining in good faith,” according to a complaint filed by the National Labor Relations Board on Tuesday.

The complaint claims that Starbucks broke the law by refusing to negotiate with unionized workers at stores in the Northwest.

Starbucks workers continue to push for change with a three-day strike

There are 21 stores in Seattle, Olympia, Tumwater, Portland, and Eugene that have become unionized in the past year.

Starbucks Workers United (SWU) said the company has delayed negotiating sessions and left virtual sessions early. SWU also claims Starbucks offered more pay and benefits to non-union employees.

In a Bloomberg report late in November, the NLRB ruled Starbucks violated labor law by refusing to bargain with unionized workers at its Seattle Reserve Roastery on Capitol Hill. The NLRB forced Starbucks back to the bargaining table last month.

Workers say that Starbucks has closed stores because they were unionized. Starbucks countered by saying the closures have to do with profitability and safety issues.

Workers at stores across Seattle told KIRO Newsradio they believe closures were because local staff organized and went on one and three-day strikes when the company kicked off its holiday season by handing out the festive red cups.

“The union-busting has been happening all around Seattle and the country,” said Starbucks employee Hargurleen Gill. “All of these problems are just building up and we’ve reached the breaking point.”

“We’re understaffed. We’ve had many labor cuts in the last few weeks during our busiest season,” shift supervisor Kate Merritt said. “I asked the other day if we can get Broadway and Denny people and we did get a couple of managers, but no baristas.”

The store at Broadway and Denny was the first to unionize in Seattle.

Union members have conducted two separate strikes since the order took place.

No reaction from Starbucks so far.

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Union: Starbucks ‘not bargaining in good faith,’ files complaint