Starbucks ordered to reinstate US workers laid off amid union campaign | Starbucks

A US judge has ordered Starbucks to reinstate seven workers at a cafe in Memphis, Tennessee, who have reportedly been fired for supporting a union campaign, as the coffee chain struggles to halt the nationwide union election.

Sheryl Lipman, the city’s district judge, said the US National Labor Relations Board had provided sufficient evidence that the layoffs were motivated by anti-union sentiment earlier this year. Lipman granted the injunction pending the outcome of an administrative case with the board.

The Memphis store is one of nearly 220 Starbucks cafes in the US to unionize in the past year. Workers in 46 locations voted against unionization and dozens more elections are underway.

Starbucks said in a statement Thursday that it disagreed with the ruling and planned to appeal. The company said the workers were fired for violating the company’s safety policy and that it respected the union process.

In a statement, NLRB General Counsel Jennifer Abruzzo called the decision “a critical step to ensure that these employees, and all Starbucks employees, can freely exercise their right to work together to improve their working conditions and form a union.” “.

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In May, the NLRB took the rare step of seeking an injunction from a federal court in the Memphis case, when allegations the workers had been unlawfully fired were heard before an administrative judge.

The board is considering numerous other complaints alleging that Starbucks has violated employee organizational rights, including closing stores and firing or punishing union supporters.

In a letter to NLRB officials on Monday, Starbucks accused executives of providing improper aid to the union and asked for the election to be suspended nationwide pending the outcome of an investigation.

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