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15 Nov 2021

USA: Starbucks accused of ‘anti-union’ campaign following union drive across stores; incl. company comments

Barista at Starbucks

Since 2021, Starbucks workers have reported retaliation from the company following attempts to unionise, including the dismissal of workers involved in the union drive at their store, the closure of stores engaged in unionising efforts, mandatory weekly anti-union meetings, and emails encouraging workers to vote against unionising. In response to Starbucks’ anti-union practices, workers across several Starbucks stores have held strikes. In August 2022, it was reported that workers at Starbucks had held over 55 different strikes in at least 17 states in the US.

In March 2023, the National Labor Relations Board had reportedly issued over 80 complaints against Starbucks for illegal activities, including shutting down stores attempting to unionise and firing workers involved in the union drive.

In March 2023, former CEO Howard Schultz was called to testify before Congress over his response to Starbucks workers' unionising efforts.

In February 2024, it was reported that Starbucks had agreed to end litigation against the union, Workers United, over its statement in support of Palestine, support worker organising efforts and work with the union to develop a collective bargaining framework.

Further updates and company comments can be found below.