NLRB says Starbucks violated labor law, must negotiate with union at Seattle store

Starbucks violated labor laws by refusing to recognize union members at a Seattle store and must negotiate with their representatives, the National Labor Relations Board ruled on Wednesday.

>> Read more trending news

The unanimous decision by a three-member panel ordered Starbucks’ subsidiary, Siren Retail Corp., to negotiate with the new union, Bloomberg reported.

Workers at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery store in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood voted by a 38-27 margin in April to join Workers United, according to The Hill. The election was certified in May by the NLRB.

The Seattle store joined more than 250 Starbucks locations that have unionized over the past few years, The Hill reported.

The board members wrote that Starbucks “admits its refusal to bargain” with the union, adding that the company contested the legitimacy of the union’s victory because of the government’s choice to hold a mail-ballot instead of an in-person election, Bloomberg reported.

According to the NLRB’s four-page decision, Siren Retail Corp. shall “cease and desist from failing and refusing to recognize and bargain with Workers United.”

In a statement, Starbucks said it plans to appeal the ruling, Bloomberg reported.

“We are challenging certification of the Seattle Roastery election and plan to appeal today’s decision,” a company spokesperson said in an email to the business news outlet.

In an emailed statement, Workers United told Bloomberg that Starbucks “is continuing its aggressive anti-union campaign against workers by delaying, confusing, and flat-out refusing to bargain with them.”

The decision comes after Starbucks employees at more than 100 stores nationwide went on strike on Red Cup Day, Bloomberg reported. The day, which was held on Nov. 18 this year, is typically one of the business’ busiest times of the year, as the company hands out free reusable cups to customers.

Comments on this article