Starbucks told to rehire fired union organizers in New York and Colorado after labor abuses

Buffalo, New York - A National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) judge has ruled that Starbucks engaged in rampant violations of federal labor law in trying to stifle the union movement, including by firing workers in New York.

Jaz Brisack, a Buffalo union organizer the NLRB has ordered Starbucks to reinstate, holds up an equity and sustainability agreement devised by Starbucks Workers United.
Jaz Brisack, a Buffalo union organizer the NLRB has ordered Starbucks to reinstate, holds up an equity and sustainability agreement devised by Starbucks Workers United.  © Screenshot/X/Jaz Brisack

Starbucks has been ordered to rehire 10 employees it fired or forced out of the job in Western New York, including at some of the first stores to unionize in Buffalo, after an NLRB judge found evidence of widespread labor abuses, Bloomberg Law reported.

In addition, the coffee company was ruled to have unlawfully blamed the union for staffing issues, ordered workers to remove union pins from their uniforms, limited workers' ability to distribute union materials, and "implicitly threatened" store closures due to union activities.

Starbucks also allegedly threatened workers they could lose raises, credit card tipping, and health benefits for supporting the union.

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Victoria Conklin, one of the terminated workers named in the NLRB ruling, celebrated the development on X: "it has been 594 days since i was fired. i always knew justice would land on my side and i have no words. i am so grateful for the support shown to me by my fellow [Starbucks Workers United] members and the labor community. i cannot wait to get back to work!!!"

"If what Starbucks did to us is not a nefarious act, I don’t know what is... so excited to get reinstated at Elmwood!!" agreed Jaz Brisack, another powerful union organizer who resigned after the company forced them out.

On the same day, another NLRB judge ruled that Starbucks must reinstate two pro-union workers in Colorado whom it had fired in 2022.

Cover photo: Screenshot/X/Jaz Brisack

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