Starbucks employees in Buffalo, New York are set to participate in a union election beginning on Wednesday — and the company is taking increasingly desperate steps to fight against the effort.
Starbucks filed Monday’s report a court requestTo prevent ballots being mailed, they delayed the election. They have hired Howard Schultz, the former CEO, and John Culver, the current COO, to stake out the stores in an effort to discourage employees from voting for a union.
According to the current schedule, the ballots must be returned by December 8. If the three stores unite successfully, they will be the first of the company’s nearly 8,000 stores to do so. The decision could be echoed across the country, sparking similar efforts in other Starbucks locations as in other retail or food service workplaces.
Starbucks employees spoke out about structural issues within the company. for years, which describes chronic understaffing that causes chaos and confusion. Buffalo workers have said that they’ve been forced to come in sick, despite the current pandemic and mandates from the state of New York stipulating that workers must have paid sick leave.
The company has taken drastic measures to stop the union drive. The union has also accused the company of using illegal tactics. The company has retaliated against worker organizing “by engaging in a campaign of threats, intimidation, surveillance,” the union said in a letter last week.
As the union vote draws near, these tactics seem to be increasing. The company shut down its Buffalo locations on Saturday so that employees could attend a Schultz talk. Even though attendance was limited, was voluntaryDuring his speech, the ex-CEO repeatedly alluded to labor issues relating to the union drive.
“I heard some things I never heard before about the condition of some of the stores some of you were working in,” he said. His bizarre 45-minute speech was a complete surprise. he comparedThe selflessness of the $139 billion corporationto the victims of Holocaust.
Culver was discovered by More Perfect Union slinking around the Buffalo Starbucks locations in recent days, asking workers questions without divulging that he’s an executive for the company. Other executives have descended upon the stores in drovesEmployees can be brought aside for one-on-1 meetings.
“He comes over and he starts talking to us, and he introduces himself as John,” one worker told More Perfect Union. “He starts asking about my experience working at Starbucks.” When the worker asked Culver if he was an executive, he refused to answer the question, instead identifying himself as a “partner,” a term that the company uses in place of “employee.”
NEW: After Howard Schultz, billionaire founder of Starbucks, spoke to workers at a glamorous union-busting event in Las Vegas, John Culver, COO, is now in Buffalo, sneaking around cafes.
One worker said that he refused to identify his position at Starbucks.
The union vote will begin on Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/Wpw9DpHTig
— More Perfect Union (@MorePerfectUS) November 9, 2021
The company was acquired by the government last month closed two of the unionizing locationsThe company claimed that the closures were necessary to train and clean up. One unionizing location has reported that the company has also been closing. more than doubledThe number of eligible employees to vote in the union drive.
August was the month when the petition for unionization was filed. There were 20 eligible employees at the time; the most recent list shows 46. Further, the company tried to dilute voting by asking employees to vote in. the entire Buffalo area to voteInstead of just three stores who have filed a petition, This would increase the number of eligible employees to more than 450, instead of 60.
Although the company may have offered false justifications for the closures and hirings, these tactics are common among companies engaged in union busting. The company has also sent outAnti-union emails has toldEmployees can vote directly against the union in a letterRossann Williams, president of Starbucks North America.
Employees believe it is time for a union drive, as they feel the time is right. can leverageLow wages and the pandemic have contributed to a worker shortage. Lax labor laws in America mean that large corporations don’t have the incentive to stop union busting. Even if their tactics were found to be illegal, they still face few consequences. ConsequencesBeyond what is equivalent of a slap on your wrist.