Starbucks takes another hit in fight against unions

Feb 8, 2023, 10:03 AM | Updated: 11:23 am
Starbucks workers strike against unfair labor practices. (Kerem Yücel /Minnesota Public Radio via AP)
(Kerem Yücel /Minnesota Public Radio via AP)

A judge in Colorado has ruled that Starbucks retaliated against workers who voted to unionize.

The company fired one Starbucks employee who was involved in union activities and threatened others with the loss of promotions and raises.

An administrative law judge ordered Starbucks to reinstate the worker and to expunge warning letters from two employee records. The company was also ordered to pay back wages to the fired worker.

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In addition, a copy of the violation must be posted at the store for at least 60 days.

Starbucks says in a statement that it disagrees with the judge’s ruling and adds that none of its actions were retaliatory.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who returned to lead Starbucks in April but is stepping down from the top spot in 2023, has called the unionization efforts a “new outside force that’s trying desperately to disrupt our company.”

One former employee celebrated the decision.

“Ultimately, it just feels good for us to be vindicated. We did our jobs well, we told the truth, and we won … again,” she said.

This wasn’t the first ruling in support of Starbucks workers. The National Labor Relations Board ruled on Nov. 30 that Starbucks violated the National Labor Relations Act by refusing to recognize and bargain with a union in Seattle.

Starbucks was ordered to bargain with the union as the exclusive representative of the workers.

The decision ordered Starbucks to negotiate with the new union at its Seattle Roastery restaurant, the second in the city to organize.

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Starbucks takes another hit in fight against unions