According to the National Labor Relations Board, Starbucks fired two workers without cause and engaged in other union-busting activities at two stores in Philadelphia with the intention of upsetting labor organizers.
Newsmaker: According to the ruling, employees at the businesses on the 1000 block of South Broad Street and 3400 Civic Center Boulevard were threatened, monitored, questioned, and stopped from raising concerns about their working conditions and supervisors. The reduction in work hours was also a complaint among union-supporting employees.
A NLRB panel ordered Monday that the fired employees be reinstated with back pay.
Why it matters: Starbucks employees at a store in Buffalo, New York were the first to unionize in December 2021, setting off a wave of organizing efforts nationwide.
Since then, more than 275 Starbucks stores, including several in Philly, have followed suit, and the ruling is likely to embolden labor efforts among workers at the coffee chain.
What they’re saying: Starbucks Workers United said in a statement that the coffee giant isn’t upholding the “progressive values” it markets, pointing to dozens of NLRB complaints encompassing thousands of alleged violations.
“We are in a retaliation crisis, and Starbucks is the cause,” Aleah Bacetti, a fired union supporter at Maryland’s Bel Air Plaza store, said in a statement. “I hope Starbucks sees that we are not afraid, and we won’t back down.”
The other side: “We disagree with the decision and are considering all options to obtain a full legal review of the matter,” a Starbucks spokesperson said in a statement provided to Bloomberg.