Starbucks settles sixth complaint of violating worker rights

MINNEAPOLIS -(Workday Minnesota) The Starbucks Coffee Co. settled a complaint Monday from the National Labor Relations Board over charges of violating workers’ rights – the sixth such settlement in three years, the Starbucks Workers Union reported.

The settlement comes as a new website, StopStarbucks.com, and viral video call on CEO Howard Schultz to respect workers’ right to join a labor union. The new media initiative, from Robert Greenwald’s “Brave New Films”, has already been viewed over 60,000 times with a related petition garnering almost 15,000 signatures.

“This settlement proves that Starbucks executives are not above the law and cannot block hard working baristas from making positive change,” said Angel Gardner, a barista and member of the Starbucks Workers Union in the Twin Cities. “How can Starbucks claim that it maintains a positive work environment when one labor case after another exposes its lack of respect for employees?”

Pursuant to the settlement, which stems from charges filed by the IWW Starbucks Workers Union, the corporation must cease engaging in a slew of illegal measures including threatening to call security to interfere with protected activity, prohibiting workers from discussing the union, and expelling union sympathizers from company stores. Monday’s settlement is the first since a Labor Board judge found Starbucks guilty last December of similar rights violations in the first-ever trial between baristas and the coffee chain.

“Howard Schultz needs to create quality jobs for hard working families, not just line the pockets of the fat cats at corporate headquarters,” said Erik Forman, a barista and member of the Starbucks Workers Union. “Our campaign for secure work hours, fair pay, and a voice at work gains momentum every day.”

The IWW Starbucks Workers Union is an organization of over 300 current and former employees at the world's largest coffee chain united for secure work hours, a living wage, and respect on the job. The union has members throughout the United States fighting for positive change at the company and defending baristas treated unfairly by management.