Baristas organizing with Starbucks Workers United continue their steady march on the campaign trail of unionization, despite the best efforts of the company to suppress union support.
257 cafes have declared their intention to hold a vote on whether or not they’ll be represented by the Service Employees International Union affiliate since the beginning of the campaign last August. Additionally, three Wisconsin-based Starbucks locations declared their intent to unionize with the United Food and Commercial Workers, the announcement of which took place last month.
66 of the 257 stores with Starbucks Workers United have won their union elections as of this afternoon, with more filings, elections and vote counts occurring on a daily basis.
Starbucks has responded to the expanding push for unionization with the tried and true methods of suppressing union support. Howard Schultz, founder and returning CEO of the company, was captured on video imploring managers to single out workers in the delivery of anti-union messaging:
The National Labor Relations Board filed a sweeping complaint against Starbucks last week, charging the company with 29 counts of unfair labor practice that encapsulate over 200 alleged violations of the National Labor Relations Act.
In another move to seek remedial measures from the company, on Tuesday the NLRB announced that it would be seeking injunctive relief for seven Starbucks baristas that were fired from their Memphis cafe earlier this year. While employed, these baristas were also acting as prominent worker-leaders within the union effort at their location. The filing alleges that those workers were subject to targeted scrutiny, harassment, and termination after Starbucks learned about the union campaign at their store. The filing, if upheld by a US District Court judge, would coerce the company to rehire the baristas unconditionally.
Reporting Courtesy of Sean Hagerup for Labor Radio
Image Courtesy of Marco Paköeningrat on Flickr