Starbucks is currently experiencing some tension as its employees have banded together to form unions, creating friction between the workers and company.
The National Labor Relations Board has asked a court to reinstate seven workers from the Buffalo, New York area who were dismissed for unionizing. The reason behind this action prompts them into legal and illegal territory which could have major implications on future endeavors within America’s labor movement.
The employees of Starbucks are claiming that managers have targeted them for forming a union.
Angel Krampa, one of the seven who was dismissed from her position, revealed the release was a result of union organizing with other workers in the store.
The manager who hired Angel told her that the multiple nose piercings and suicide prevention pin were allowed during working hours, but a new one in January took issue with them.
Angel shared that she has been receiving written warnings for refusing to remove her piercings and pin, as well getting a warning about missing work because of car problems. However, Angel maintained that she called the manager.
The judge will most likely share her sentiments, said Angel who believes that her advocacy for a union was what led to these disciplinary actions.
“I don’t think that we’re going to lose either of these next two trials,” said Angel, referring to the filing for their workers and an upcoming hearing regarding Starbucks’ unfair labor practices on July 11.
When Angel and her co-workers voted to unionize on March 23, they were fired from their jobs on the 1st of April.
Starbucks has denied the anti-union allegations, despite their claims.
“As we have said previously, we believe these claims are false and will be prepared to defend our case,” said Starbucks spokesperson Reggie Borges.
Starbucks has raised wages and promised improvements to diminish plans of unionization, but stores with active union efforts will be exempted from these new policies, though.
According to a spokesperson from the NLRB, corporations have been sending managers in order to discourage union activity and close stores with active drive-for-unionization efforts.
If the recent filing by Starbucks union workers is successful, they will be able to organize and bargain collectively with their employer. The company must recognize union representation for all stores nationwide.
Similar cases have been reported from other states including Memphis, Tennessee, and Phoenix. The case in Memphis is still ongoing while the one involving Phoenix was denied earlier this month.