NEWS & ANALYSIS


Starbucks, Union Signal Talks On 'Foundational Framework'

By Beverly Banks

Starbucks and Workers United announced Tuesday that they have agreed to move the needle on talks for a "foundational framework" related to collective bargaining and resolving litigation, saying both sides discussed a "constructive path forward" amid mediation related to a federal trademarks case.

Starbucks Says Comments On Union Views Not Defamatory

By Caleb Drickey

Starbucks urged a Pennsylvania federal court to toss claims that it defamed a union by framing it as favoring violence and terrorism, arguing that the challenged statements were expressions of opinion that could not be disproved and thus could not be defamatory.

Starbucks' Store Closure Threat Is Illegal, NLRB Judge Says

By Beverly Banks

Starbucks legally reduced a pro-union employee's hours, a National Labor Relations Board judge ruled, dismissing other unfair labor practice claims but holding that the coffee giant did unlawfully threaten possible closure of stores if workers unionized.

NLRB Denies Starbucks' Appeal Over Sanctions Threat

By Beverly Banks

The National Labor Relations Board denied a challenge by Starbucks to an agency judge's order mentioning a potential recommendation to "admonish or reprimand" the company's counsel at Littler Mendelson PC over subpoena compliance, with one board member calling for specifics on alleged misconduct.

NLRB Denies Starbucks' Explicit Threat Defense At Fla. Store

By Beverly Banks

Starbucks illegally threatened a lead union organizer in Florida, the National Labor Relations Board concluded Wednesday, tossing Starbucks' claim that it didn't violate federal labor law because there wasn't an explicit threat of retaliation.

Starbucks Made Statements With Actual Malice, Union Says

By Beverly Banks

Workers United accused Starbucks of posting statements with actual malice that relate to the union's now-deleted tweet saying "Solidarity with Palestine," telling a Pennsylvania federal court that the coffee chain implied that the union "committed a felony."

NLRB Judge Says Starbucks Can't Threaten To Cut Tuition Aid

By Emily Brill

A Starbucks cafe in upstate New York violated federal labor law by telling workers they'd lose access to free college tuition and be paid less if they unionized, a National Labor Relations Board judge ruled.

Starbucks Didn't Fire Baristas For Using Profanity, ALJ RulesĀ 

By Beverly Banks

Starbucks violated federal labor law by questioning a worker about unionization at an Illinois cafe and later firing two pro-union employees, a National Labor Relations Board judge ruled, saying the company's terminations of the workers for using profanity didn't match up with past practice.

DC Circ. Mulls NLRB Finding That Starbucks Broke Labor Law

By Nadia Dreid

The D.C. Circuit seemed split Friday morning on whether Starbucks had stepped on labor law by barring a worker from passing out pro-union pins on the store floor during company time, which the manager said included paid breaks.

Starbucks Lawfully Fired Pro-Union Backer, NLRB Judge Says

By Beverly Banks

Starbucks was within its rights to fire a pro-union worker and did not unlawfully interrogate employees or surveil strikers at a Kansas store, a National Labor Relations Board judge ruled, while nevertheless finding the company illegally barred discussions about the union.

Starbucks Flouted NLRA 20 Times In Buffalo Area, Judge Says

By Emily Brill

Starbucks violated federal labor law 20 times at a string of unionizing shops in western New York, a National Labor Relations Board judge ruled, saying the company fired Workers United supporters, implied it would close stores due to unionization and blamed the union for staffing issues.

Starbucks Argues NLRB Has No Say In Firing Decision

By Joyce Hanson

Starbucks has urged a Michigan federal judge to deny the National Labor Relations Board's request to force the company to rehire two fired workers, saying the board doesn't have the right to interfere with the coffee chain's managerial decisions.

Starbucks Tainted Vote At Colo. Cafe, NLRB Judge Says

By Tim Ryan

A National Labor Relations Board judge has recommended a redo in a union representation election at a Colorado Starbucks, saying the coffee giant tainted a 2022 vote by questioning workers about their union support and threatening their future raises and benefits.

NLRB Official Dismisses Starbucks Union Ouster Bid In Ore.

By Beverly Banks

A Starbucks worker's decertification election petition at an Oregon cafe can't proceed, a National Labor Relations Board regional director determined, saying a separate refusal to bargain case prevents the vote from happening at this time.

NLRB Official Nixes Bid To Oust Starbucks Union At Md. Cafe

By Beverly Banks

A Starbucks worker can't have a vote to decertify Workers United at a Maryland store, a National Labor Relations Board official determined Monday, saying the ouster bid must be dismissed under board precedent.

NLRB Judge Says Starbucks Interrogated Workers Over Strike

By Emily Brill

Starbucks violated federal labor law when managers at three of its stores in Seattle questioned workers about a coming strike, a National Labor Relations Board judge has ruled, saying the managers did not assure workers they would not face punishment based on their answers.

Starbucks Union Drive's Second Year Shows Staying Power

By Braden Campbell

Workers United's campaign to unionize Starbucks was far slower in 2023 than in its explosive 2022, but it continued to secure representation elections at a steady clip, winning at even higher rates than in the campaign's early days, according to an analysis of National Labor Relations Board elections data.

Starbucks, Littler Violated Disclosure Law, SEIU Tells DOL

By Beverly Banks

The Service Employees International Union on Tuesday submitted allegations to the U.S. Department of Labor that Starbucks and Littler Mendelson PC haven't fully complied with disclosure requirements under federal labor law, according to a complaint obtained by Law360.

NLRB Office Beefs Up Nationwide Starbucks Bargaining Case

By Emily Brill

The National Labor Relations Board's Tampa, Florida, office has updated a blockbuster nationwide failure-to-bargain complaint against Starbucks to include new stores, bringing the number of cafes accused of snubbing Workers United in one form or another in the case to 374, according to the agency.

NLRB Wants Starbucks To Rehire Fired Union Supporters

By Caleb Drickey

A regional director of the National Labor Relations Board called on a Michigan federal judge Friday to order the immediate rehiring of two fired Starbucks workers, arguing there was cause to believe that the firings were retaliatory and would chill workers' willingness to organize.


--Graphics by Ben Jay.