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Starbucks Union Fights

by Levin & Nalbandyan, LLP
March 17, 2023
Employment Law

Coffee Giant Accused of Misconduct by NLRB Judge

For the last few years, employees of Starbucks have attempted to unionize. The workers have met with resistance including from interim CEO Charles Schultz. Now, a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) judge has said that the company’s actions throughout the union fight amounted to “misconduct.”

At Levin & Nalbandyan, we represent individuals who have been mistreated or wrongfully terminated from their employment. Our lawyers will fight to ensure that justice is served. We have recovered millions of dollars on behalf of our clients. If you were harmed by your employer, contact our office at (213) 232-4848 to schedule a free consultation.

The Fight to Unionize Starbucks

According to Forbes, the most recent movement to unionize Starbucks began in Buffalo, New York in late 2021. The store voted to unionize, making it the first location in the United States to do so. The decision spread like wildfire, with over 250 stores eventually voting to unionize. 

Each store’s union fight, however, was met with steep opposition from the company’s management. Now a judge has said that this opposition was inappropriate amounting to wrongdoing.

Misconduct by Starbucks Management 

As reported by CNN, a judge from the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) said that the company displayed “egregious and widespread misconduct” in union dealings. The judge ordered Starbucks to reinstate terminated employees and make them whole again. 

The company is “facing 32 unfair labor charges” for its actions throughout the fight for unionization between August 2021 and July 2022. As a result of the judge’s order, the company must “post a notice in its stores nationally.” Furthermore, the company cannot attempt to stop workers from unionizing and may not engage in employee surveillance. 

CEO Outspoken Against Union Fight

Both Interim CEO Charles Schultz and incoming CEO Laxman Narasimhanhas have publicly stated their opposition to unionization. Schultz must now read or be present at the reading of employees’ rights. The notice must include information about a worker’s right to organize. Once recorded, the reading must be distributed to all employees. The company now has until March 28 to file an appeal. 

What Does This Mean for Starbucks Workers?

The order from the National Labor Relations Board judge means that Starbucks’ workers will now have fewer obstacles in their way on their path to unionization. Management will be unable to prevent workers from organizing and could face sanctions for any attempts to derail unionization. 

If you are a Starbucks employee who was prevented from discussing unionization or was terminated as a result of the movement, you need to discuss your case with an attorney. An attorney can help you determine whether you have a valid cause of action against your employer.

Contact Our Office to Learn More

At Levin & Nalbandyan, we fight for workers who have been mistreated. Our lawyers will help you understand your rights if you were prevented from organizing or were wrongfully terminated. We will not give up until you get the results you deserve. There are no fees unless we win.  Contact our office at (213) 232-4848 to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. 

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