Starbucks Threatens to End Trans-Inclusive Health Benefits If Stores Unionize

Starbucks management has reportedly Employees were threatened with losing their trans-inclusive health insurance benefits if the vote was for unionization. Workers filed a formal complaint as the union celebrated 150 electoral victories across the United States.

Just last month, Starbucks — which has offered trans-inclusive benefits since 2012 — announced it would cover travel expenses for employees who obtain gender-affirming care out of state, a decision that came as a growing number of Republican-controlled state legislatures moved to pass anti-trans legislation.

But it now appears that Starbucks is trying to wield those health benefits as a weapon against union organizing, which has reached hundreds of the company’s locations across the United States.

“Starbucks is telling its baristas that unionizing could jeopardize the gender-affirming healthcare coverage for transgender employees that the company offers, according to a complaint filed with the federal labor board,” CNBC reported Tuesday.

BloombergWorkers United filed the first complaint against. noted that “Starbucks Corp. managers in several states have told baristas that its vaunted transgender-inclusive healthcare benefits could go away if they unionize.” The Workers United complaint alleges that Starbucks has engaged in unlawful coercion by “threatening employees with loss of benefits.”

Neha Cremi, a Starbucks employee in Oklahoma — a state that has enacted a series of anti-trans measures in recent months — said that Starbucks “realizes that we as trans partners feel particularly vulnerable at this time” and is attempting to exploit that vulnerability.

“I think that in some cases they are willing to take advantage of that,” said Cremi. “We feel powerless on a state level. Unionizing our store at least gives us something small to grab onto, that we can make our store a safe place.”

Sara Nelson, president of Association of Flight Attendants – CWA called Starbucks’ latest union-busting tactic “disgusting.”

Former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner wrote on Twitter that she has heard from several baristas in Cleveland about Starbucks’ threats against trans health benefits.

“If you’re willing to play around with trans-inclusive care as it relates to unionization,” Turner wrote, “not only do you not respect your employees, you don’t truly don’t recognize the humanity of your trans employees.”

Starbucks has ramped up its aggressive anti-union push in recent weeks as workers in state after state have moved to exercise their collective bargaining rights, persisting in the face of management’s ongoing campaign to slash benefits, cut hours, shut down entire locations.

Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO and founder, stated last week that he had a new strategy. no intention of cooperating Unionized shops are allowed to bargain in good faith despite the legal requirement. The National Labor Relations Board accused Starbucks has been accused hundreds of times of violating federal laws over the past six-months, but they don’t seem to have been deterred.

“We are in business to exceed the expectations of our customers,” Schultz said During a New York Times Thursday, April 13th. “The customer experience will be significantly challenged and less than if a third party is integrated into our business.”

Starbucks Workers United announced Tuesday that the union had officially scored 150 election victories Nationally, the momentum for organizing continues to grow in response to historic wins in Buffalo in December.

“For context,” the group noted, “there were ZERO unionized Starbucks stores six months ago.”

Starbucks Workers Unite at Massapequa in New York recalled When the union was first formed in February, only 60 other locations had filed for the same. This number is now in hundreds — and the union has won an overwhelming majority of elections held thus far.

“Absolutely incredible,” the Massapequa branch said. “So proud of everyone who has been part of this.”