An American union presented this Thursday a complaint against the famous chain of coffee shops Starbucks for his “campaign of threats, intimidation and surveillance” to the workers of three of its premises in Buffalo (upstate New York) for their attempt to form a employee organization.
The complaint, of which Efe obtained a copy, was presented today by Workers United, affiliated with the SEIU, the largest union in the service sector in New York, in a Buffalo court, and specifies that this company campaign against it It has been developed since August 2021 as “Response to Buffalo Co-Workers’ Union Organizing Efforts”.
The chain has publicly responded that it is not favorable to the creation of a union.
“We work together and collaborate, this is how we solve problemsThis is how we evolve, this is how we serve our clients, as partners. That is why we disagree (with the idea of a union), but we are looking for options and we are going to do what we have always done, serve our partners, “Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson told the channel on October 29. economic CNBC.
The 128 workers from the three Buffalo establishments who want to organize will begin a vote-by-mail vote next week that will conclude on December 8 to decide whether or not to unionize.
Their fight began last August, when employees They requested to join the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB, for its acronym in English), a body that authorizes the formation of trade union bodies.
Starbucks then tried to thwart the initiative of employees trying to convince the Board that the vote should not be restricted to the three coffee shops that had launched the proposal, but had to be expanded to the twenty coffee shops that include that region of upstate New York.
However, the NLRB ruled on October 29 in favor of the workers guaranteeing their right to create a union in the three locations that requested it.
His claim has been openly endorsed by the Democratic congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, known for her progressive positions within her party, which has provided them with a powerful loudspeaker.
Ocasio Cortez traveled to Buffalo to meet with employees of the three wayward cafes.
“Fighting unions is a sophisticated and lucrative business. It specializes in the psychology of making you doubt yourself and your peers. Do not be fooled!”the militant congresswoman wrote on her Twitter account on Tuesday.
Ocasio Cortez released a video of the meeting with a dozen workers who denounced Starbucks attempts to frustrate their initiative and in which the Puerto Rican legislator encourages them to continue their fight and not be intimidated by the management.
In the Twitter account that the chain’s employees have launched, they also denounce a continuous harassment from company management so that they give up their union efforts and vote against creating an organization.
While they wait for the vote, they have already designed their logo: A raised black fist grabbing one of the classic glasses the chain serves its drinks in.
Starbucks is not the first large chain in the United States to resist unionization of its workers.
Amazon, the second largest employer in the country and also known for its anti-unionism, faces a similar attempt of some warehouse workers in New York, after the intention of a group of their employees in Alabama failed.