Starbucks fires dozens of workers engaging in union activities, cultivating a “culture of fear”

According to the workers’ organisation Starbucks Workers United, around 85 Starbucks employees who were actively involved in union organising activities at the large coffee company were dismissed during the past few months.

Numerous unfair labour practise complaints have been made by employees regarding the firings, and a federal judge recently ordered the reinstatement of seven Memphis, Tennessee, employees who had been fired in February. Starbucks has stated that it disagrees with the judge’s decision and plans to appeal it.

Starbucks has been the subject of 21 formal complaints by the National Labor Relations Board, totaling 81 counts and 548 potential labour law infractions that are now being investigated.

Starbucks has demanded a temporary suspension of union elections and accused the NLRB of supporting the union campaign. Despite the fact that more than 220 outlets have won union elections since December, the corporation has vehemently blocked efforts to unionise.

Starbucks executives are being requested to testify before Congress over the company’s response to the union effort by Starbucks Workers United.

In the meanwhile, sacked employees have talked about their treatment. On August 16, Jaysin Saxton, who had been employed at Starbucks in Augusta, Georgia, for more than three years, was let go. His store started organising in January, went public in March, and at the end of April easily won their union election.

Saxton claimed that a few months ago, following the hiring of a new manager, employees began to be subjected to harsh scrutiny and disciplinary actions.

“From that point on, everything got worse. They began writing people up frequently, including final written warnings and documented coachings that prevented employees from being transferred or promoted, according to Saxton. “They watch us. It’s crazy. They have just established a strong culture of terror within the store and are attempting to drive everyone out.

Saxton organised a march on the employer in July to present a list of requests from the workforce, but managers put an end to the demonstration. Saxton said that he was let go due to allegations that he disrupted the protest.

In response to how he was handled by supervisors for attempting to solve problems and complaints employees were having in the shop, Saxton said, “I expressed to my district manager that I was being treated as the stereotyped angry black man.”

About a month later, Saxton’s manager called to inform him that he was being fired, despite the fact that Saxton claimed he had not yet received any written reprimand or other punishment for the protest. He quickly submitted the necessary documentation to make an unfair labour practise claim regarding his termination.

Workers at Starbucks have staged more than 80 strikes in response to allegations of unfair labour practises, the ousting of union leaders, the withholding of benefits for outlets that have joined a union, and the protracted first contract discussions. A strike fund was established by the union to support striking workers, and multiple GoFundMe campaigns have been started to provide financial support for union officials who are in danger of losing their jobs.

As a result of what she claimed were numerous write-ups for being late, Joselyn Chuquillanqui, 28, who had worked as a shift supervisor at Starbucks in Great Neck Plaza, New York, for seven years, was dismissed in July. She claimed that she was forced out by management after her store lost the union election in May by one vote.

Chuqillanqui stated, “I was getting written up for being five minutes or less late.” They made the accusation that I was being paid by the union and tried to defame me.

A gathering in support of her was recently conducted outside the Starbucks location, when dozens of people chanted “rehire Joselyn” in order to show their support for her. Regarding her termination, the union plans to lodge a complaint alleging unfair labour practises.

All claims of retaliation have been refuted by Starbucks. These individuals are no longer with Starbucks due to infractions of shop policy, a spokesman stated in an email. The participation of a partner in a union does not absolve them of the requirements we have always upheld. We’ll keep applying our rules equally to all of our partners.

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