Starbucks Busted For Union Busting

Another week, another round of Bad Employer news about Wal—oh wait, we mean Starbucks this time, which actually has a lower rate of insured employees than the discount chain (42% versus 47%). Last Thursday, the National Labor Relations Board accused Starbucks of “unlawful anti-union activity” at a store in Michigan, similar to the charges it’s currently on trial for in New York.

The Industrial Workers of the World—the union that’s been campaigning to organize Starbucks employees for a few years now—claims the chain “threatened to terminate a worker for union activity and denied union members access to the store bulletin board.”

Starbucks has until this Friday, September 28th, to settle the Michigan case or proceed to a Labor Board trial as in New York.

In the meantime, Starbucks just lost a motion to defeat a class action from 900 managers seeking overtime pay, and is being investigated over whether it failed to honor the terms of a 2006 settlement involving other anti-union conduct in Michigan.

We suppose Starbucks could start offering $4 pounds of coffee to its employees, but somehow that feels less satisfying than full medical coverage. So remember to tip your barista—that tip box might be doubling as the staff insurance pool.

“Starbucks: More Charges of Union-Busting” [Business Week]

Industrial Workers of the World