Starbucks Keeps Losing Union Battles
Federal appeals court says Starbucks must rehire fired union advocate "partners" tagged "Memphis Seven"
One can only hope Starbucks’ counsel had a cup of coffee in hand when s/he read the opinion by a three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
The panel effectively ordered the coffee chain to rehire the “Memphis Seven,” store associates in Memphis who were involved in union-organizing at the store.
This will likely stoke union efforts that are sprouting up like Canadian wildfires at Starbucks stores.
The flap began in earnest on Jan. 18, 2022, when a letter written to Starbuck’s CEO by Starbuck Memphis union organizers was posted on social media announcing the group’s intent to unionize. A news crew arrived at the store a short time later and interviewed the organizers.
A month later, Starbucks fired five organizing committee members and two other employees - referred to as “partners” - for allegedly violating obscure and little enforced company policies during the January event.
Nevertheless, in an anonymous election, the Memphis store partners voted 11-to-3 to join the union on 6/7/22.
The appeals court upheld a lower court order denying Starbucks request for an injunction to prevent implementation of the National Labor Relations Board’s order reinstating the Memphis Seven.
Here’s how the panel ruled:
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