NLRB Rules That Starbucks Illegally Withheld Raises And Benefits From Union Workers

NLRB Rules That Starbucks Illegally Withheld Raises And Benefits From Union Workers

Starbucks just keeps losing against unions, whether it’s at the ballot box or in front of the NLRB. And for good reason: it’s engaging in illegal union-busting and treating workers terribly.

The Washington Post reports on the latest ruling:

“Starbucks illegally withheld wages and benefits from thousands of unionized baristas, the National Labor Relations Board alleged in a complaint Wednesday.

The complaint arrives during a campaign by the coffee chain and its interim CEO, Howard Schultz, to tamp down unionization efforts at its stores around the United States. More than 230 locations have voted to join the Starbucks Workers United union since late 2021, driving a surge in unionization nationwide.

The NLRB seeks back payments and benefits for unionized workers since May and to require Schultz to read a statement to workers about their union rights. The board, which is tasked with enforcing labor laws that protect union rights, said Starbucks’s denial of benefits and raises to union workers was intended to discourage union organizing

But Starbucks denied that. ‘We’ve been clear in that we are following NLRB rules when it comes to unilaterally giving benefits,’ Reggie Borges, a Starbucks spokesman, wrote in an email.

The company stated in a news release in July that legally it cannot change benefits or wages without bargaining with a union once one is in place. ‘Partners still have access to all Starbucks benefits already in place when the petition was filed, but any changes to your wages, benefits and working conditions that Starbucks establishes after that time would not apply to you and would have to be bargained,’ the statement says.

Union activists were thrilled that the labor board had weighed in. ‘This is a historic triumph for democracy and the rule of law that a billionaire CEO must apologize to employees for abusing them and violating their rights as well as making them whole’ said Richard Bensinger, a lead organizer of the Starbucks Workers United campaign.”

For the rest of the story, visit The Washington Post here.

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