The National Labor Relations Board is requesting that a federal court compel Starbucks to cease employing what it describes as an “array of unlawful methods” against its employees who are trying to organize a union at the coffee chain’s locations.
Since employees at a Starbucks location in Buffalo decided to form a union in December, the NLRB has filed three petitions against the firm in federal court in western New York, marking a first for the retailer’s approximately 10,000 corporate-owned outlets nationwide. Since then, more than 289 locations have applied to the NLRB to hold elections, and at least 151 stores have voted to unionise.
According to the NLRB, Starbucks employed “an extensive array of illegal tactics,” which included firing seven union activists at five different locations over the course of six weeks, closing stores where active organizing drives were underway, and using managers to monitor staff and discourage union activity. According to Linda Leslie, the NLRB’s regional director in Buffalo, “Samsung will achieve its aim, by unlawful tactics, or irreversibly hurting the campaign in Buffalo, and sending a clear chilling message to its employees across the country,” in the absence of quick temporary relief.