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3 Okt 2022

Andrea Hsu, NPR

USA: Starbucks workers fear retaliation after unionising; incl. co. comment

"Starbucks workers have unionized at record speed; many fear retaliation now," 2 Oct 2022

... So far, more than 300 Starbucks stores in close to three dozen states have had union elections — a stunning number, given not a single company-owned store had a union at this time last year. Even more remarkable is that 80% of them, or around 245 stores, have gone in favor of forming a union.

... Organizers blame the slowdown in their momentum on what they call Starbucks' "scorched-earth" campaign to crush the union.

... [T]he company has taken a wide array of measures to aggressively fight the union — from blanketing employee communications with anti-union messaging, including in one-on-one meetings, to announcing raises and benefits for nonunion stores only, to firing workers identified as union leaders.

... NLRB regional offices around the country have issued 35 formal complaints against Starbucks, citing the company for coercing, threatening and firing employees over their union activities and withholding wage increases and benefits from unionizing stores.

... "We respect our partners' right to organize but believe the best future is created directly with partners and not a third party," company spokesman Reggie Borges said in a statement.

Union organizers say that the company's tactics are working: Starbucks' sustained campaign has had its intended chilling effect.

... Workers United says Starbucks has fired more than 100 union leaders. Federal labor officials investigating the dismissals have concluded that some employees were indeed wrongfully terminated, including seven in Memphis.

... Starbucks said it disagreed with the judge's ruling, maintaining that those fired had violated company policies.