Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Starbucks Accused of Firing Outspoken Barista

New York Times Blog:

The Starbucks Corporation has gotten in trouble again with the National Labor Relations Board over how it treats pro-union employees.

The union contends that a worker was fired for attending a book-release event by Howard Schultz, the founder of Starbucks, at a Starbucks at 29th Street and Park Avenue, where protesters chanted, “Shame, shame.”...

At the time, the board asserted that Starbucks supervisors:

* prohibited employees from discussing the union while off duty;
* interrogated employees about their support for the union;
* threatened to fire employees for supporting the union;
* disciplined workers or sent them home for supporting the union;
* arbitrarily implemented a new rule prohibiting employees from wearing more then one pro-union button at any time;
* selectively enforced a dress code that, among other things, prohibited employees from wearing more than two earrings per ear.

...“It’s beyond dispute now that Starbucks is waging one of the most relentless anti-union operations in the United States today,” said Stuart L. Lichten, a lawyer for the Industrial Workers of the World, the union trying to organize Starbucks workers. “If Wal-Mart has a soul mate in the union-busting arena, it’s Starbucks.”

It doesn't sound like anyone is ready to "chill out".
Support your local barrista?

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