starbucks involved in egregious and widespread violations of federal law
Last updated on March 4th, 2023 at 03:58 am
Starbucks has long expressed its pride over its reputation as a progressive, worker-friendly employer.
But in recent news, US National Labour Relations Board (NLRB) judge Michael Rosas has ordered the company to reinstate fired seven workers, reopen a shuttered location and compensate others who were affected after finding that the coffee chain committed “egregious and widespread” violations of federal labour law at its stores in Buffalo and Rochester in a pushback against unions.
In response, Starbucks said it believes “the decision and the remedies ordered are inappropriate”, adding the concerned individuals weren’t fired because of union activities, but for clear violations of the company’s policies.
Nevertheless, union supporters have expressed satisfaction with the ruling. The decision was “such a massive win for us,” Michael Sanabria, a Starbucks barista in Buffalo, New York, mentioned.
In a more than 200-page decision, Rosas said the company threatened workers, spied on them, and more strictly enforced dress codes and other policies, adding the firm showed “a general disregard for the employees’ fundamental rights” in a pushback against union campaigns.
Despite opposition from the firm, workers at around 270 of Starbucks’ 9,000 company-owned stores in the US voted to join unions last year.
While union campaigners have accused the company of violating labour laws and dragging its feet at the bargaining table, Starbucks has said it respects workers’ rights to protest.
In an effort to address the discontent, the company has raised pay and made certain other changes in recent months.