Federal labor officials accuse Starbucks of unfair work practices at its Buffalo stores in New York City, including retaliation against union employees
BUFFALO, NY – Federal labor officials filed a lengthy complaint Friday accusing Starbucks of unfair work practices at its stores in Buffalo, New York, including retaliation against union employees.
The regional director of the National Labor Relations Committee in Buffalo cited a number of violations of the labor law in the application, demanding return to work and payment for employees.
There has been a wave of union movements in Starbucks stores across the country, with the first union votes arriving in December at three Buffalo stores.
The chain of cafes called the accusations “false” and promised to fight them at the upcoming hearing.
“Starbucks disagrees that the lawsuits have a basis, and issuing the complaint is not a finding of the NLRB,” spokesman Reggie Borges wrote in an email. “This is the beginning of a litigation process that allows both sides to be heard and evidence presented.”
Starbucks Workers United, the group behind the union’s efforts, said the complaint “confirms the extent and depravity of Starbucks’ behavior in western New York for most of the year.”
“Starbucks is finally held accountable for the rampage against the unions they run,” Danny Rojas, the fired shift supervisor, said in a statement. “Starbucks must realize that it is morally corrupt to take revenge on union leaders, and I look forward to the NLRB forcing Starbucks to correct this moment.”
Last month, federal labor officials asked a judge to force Starbucks to return three union activists to their Phoenix location, alleging the coffee giant was involved in unfair work practices.
Starbucks reported on Tuesday that its sales climbed to record levels in the second fiscal quarter, but noted that it faces higher employment costs, which will rise even more in the coming months as the company introduces new wage increases and other benefits.
Starbucks Workers United said it had filed a lawsuit against Starbucks on Tuesday. The group claims the company is violating labor law by threatening to exclude union shops from receiving new benefits.