Starbucks accuses US labor officials of helping workers unionize | News on workers’ rights

The coffee giant is asking the National Labor Relations Board to temporarily suspend all union elections in American stores.

Starbucks is calling on the U.S. National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) to temporarily suspend all union elections at its stores in the United States after accusing the agency of interfering with and influencing election results in some of its cafes.

The coffee giant on Monday accused NLRB officers of helping labor group Starbucks Workers United win the election by manipulating the voting process and then collaborating to cover up the behavior, according to a letter Starbucks sent to the NLRB.

In the letter, Starbucks said an unnamed career NLRB employee informed the coffee company about the activity, which allegedly occurred in the St Louis board office earlier this year when he was overseeing a union election at a Starbucks store in Overland Park, Kansas.

The coffee giant alleges that St Louis labor board officials helped pro-union workers vote in person at its office when they did not receive mail-in ballots, even though Starbucks and the union had both agreed that store elections would be handled by mail. in the ballot.

“Because observers were not present, no one can be sure who appeared to vote, whether NLRB staff had inappropriate communications with voters, told them how to vote, showed them how to vote, or engages in other undisclosed behavior,” Starbucks wrote in its letter.

The coffee giant has faced a growing union push at its cafes over the past year.

Some 314 Starbucks locations in the United States have seen workers petition the NLRB to hold union elections since late last year. More than 220 of those Starbucks stores voted to unionize.

But Starbucks has long opposed unionization, ever since CEO Howard Schultz acquired the company in the late 1980s.

From Amazon to Kellogg’s food, the United States is witnessing a revival of the power of labor unions and collective bargaining.

But many employees are seeing a decline in corporate offices.

A spokesperson for the NLRB said Monday the agency does not comment on open cases.

Press Secretary Kayla Blado said the NLRB will “carefully and objectively” review any challenges Starbucks raises through “established channels.” Starbucks may also request an expedited review of the case, Blado said.

Meanwhile, Starbucks Workers United, the group seeking to unionize US Starbucks stores, accused the coffee giant of trying to ‘distract attention from their unprecedented anti-union campaign, including firing more than 75 union leaders across the country, while simultaneously trying to stop any union elections”.

“Ultimately, this is Starbucks’ latest attempt to manipulate the legal process for its own means and prevent workers from exercising their fundamental right to organize,” the group said in a Monday statement. communicated.

But Starbucks said there is also evidence of misconduct in other regions and wants the NLRB to fully review Starbucks’ election procedures and provide a report of its findings.

“If the NLRB does not respond by investigating and remedying these types of actions, we fail to see how the board can hold itself out as a neutral agency,” Starbucks said in the letter.

The Amazon mega-retailer has also previously accused the NLRB of improper conduct in relation to union efforts at its Staten Island warehouse in New York.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.