Starbucks Is Under Fire For Violating Labor Laws

Negotiations between Starbucks and Workers United have taken another turn for the worse. In September, the company sent a letter to the 234 outposts that voted to move forward with union representation, expressing hopes of coming to a consensus after months of adversity. Come October, Vice reported that Starbucks corporate walked out of five meetings in the first week of negotiations, refusing to bargain with union leaders who allowed baristas to join the meetings remotely. The following month, more than 2,000 Starbucks employees went on strike on the coffee company's high-traffic Red Cup Day to condemn the brand's alleged union-busting tactics.  

Before any of this transpired, Starbucks was already in hot water with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). In May, CNBC reported that the federal agency was holding the company accountable for more than 200 labor violations, including offering incentives to workers who refrained from union activity. On the heels of the Red Cup Day demonstration, the NLRB hit the coffee giant with a nationwide cease and desist order to prevent more illegal firings, per Democracy Now

This week, the NLRB accused Starbucks of violating yet another labor law.

More alleged union-busting in Starbucks' hometown

Attempted bargain meetings between Starbucks and Workers United continued this week at the company's Pike Street Reserve Roastery in Seattle, where corporate leaders once again refused to negotiate with employees who have voted to unionize, Bloomberg reports. 

On Wednesday, the National Labor Relations Board published a board decision accusing Starbucks of violating labor laws by "failing and refusing to recognize and bargain with Workers United," as well as "coercing employees in the exercise of the rights guaranteed them." The board also reinstated its cease and desist order. 

Employees of the Seattle Starbucks Reserve Roastery opted to unionize in April in a 38-27 vote and were granted approval by the NLRB the following month, The Hill reports. Upon this week's ruling, the outlet adds that Starbucks has 21 days to file a form with the agency "attesting to the steps it has taken to comply with the order."