The Reporter (Lansdale, PA)
Judge rules Starbucks violated worker rights
A federal labor judge has ordered Starbucks to reinstate seven fired workers, reopen a shuttered location and stop infringing on workers’ rights after finding that the company violated labor laws “hundreds of times” during a unionization campaign in Buffalo, N.Y.
The decision issued late Wednesday by Administrative Law Judge Michael Rosas of the National Labor Relations Board requires Starbucks to post a 13-page notice listing its labor violations and workers’ rights in all U.S. stores.
The order also requires Starbucks’ interim CEO Howard Schultz to read or be present at a reading of employees’ rights and distribute a recording of the reading to all of Starbucks’ U.S. employees.
Rosas cited Starbucks’ “egregious and widespread misconduct” in his 200-page decision, which consolidated 35 unfair labor practice complaints at 21 Buffalo-area stores filed by Starbucks Workers United, the labor union organizing Starbucks’ stores. Rosas found that Starbucks had threatened employees, spied on them and more strictly enforced dress codes and other policies.
The order requires Starbucks to reinstate seven workers who were fired for their union activity and provide financial restitution for 27 other workers for violations like refusing to grant time off. It also requires Starbucks to bargain with the union at multiple stores and reopen a location in Cheektowaga, N.Y., that was closed amid significant union activity.
Starbucks said Wednesday it believes the decision and the remedies ordered are inappropriate and is considering its legal options. The parties in the case have until March 28 to file an appeal to the full National Labor Relations Board.