A lawsuit has been launched against Starbucks over alleged interference into staff’s attempts to unionize for the third time.

The National Labor Relations Board has filed a case against the firm for interfering with union organization attempts at its US outlets.

It’s the third time the board has brought a complaint against Starbucks in federal court since December, when a store in Buffalo, New York, became the coffee chain’s first unionized store in decades.


More than 289 US stores have petitioned the NLRB to hold union elections since that point, and at least 151 have voted to unionize.

Starbucks has made it clear it opposes unionization, claiming that working directly with employees improves retail performance.

The petition was filed in US District Court in western New York on Tuesday by the NLRB’s regional director in Buffalo, New York.

It petitions that the court compel the coffee giant to reinstate seven Buffalo employees who were allegedly wrongfully dismissed for attempting to join a union.

It also tries to compel Starbucks to bargain with a store whose union election was allegedly compromised by the firm’s anti-union behavior in the past.

Moreover, the suit seeks the court to require the company to suspend a number of actions at all of its US locations.

It includes accusations of the company providing perks to non-union businesses, intimidating employees who support unionization with retaliation, refusing to deal with stores that have voted to unionize, and shutting locations temporarily or permanently.

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Starbucks said earlier this month it will permanently shut down a location in Ithaca, New York, that had voted to unionize.

Employees at the store claim that the firm is retaliating against them for their labor involvement.

The company, which has 9,000 outlets in the United States, said it opens and closes locations on a regular basis and made its choice based on staffing and other store issues.

The NLRB accuses Starbucks of violating multiple US labor laws in Buffalo, including spying on employees on unionization efforts by listening in on their headset talks.

The firm is accused of promising more salaries and better benefits if they did not unionize, and then interrogated them for wearing union pins.

Source: ABC News

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