Minneapolis -- The Starbucks Workers Union announced today that the National Labor Relations Board has found merit with 17 counts of labor rights violations at Starbucks in Minneapolis/St. Paul. The fresh charges come on the heels of a "guilty" verdict in New York Federal Court on nearly 30 similar charges last December. Once seen as a paragon of social responsibility and entrepreneurial innovation, the coffee giant's image has recently been tarnished with mounting evidence of rampant labor violations, on top of sliding profits, increased market competition, and declining consumer demand.
Mall of America Starbucks barista Erik Forman commented, "Since the recession began, Starbucks has been slashing benefits, laying off workers, reducing hours, and increasing the workload on Baristas in a quixotic effort to maintain boom-era profitability. As our standard of living comes under attack, the need for a union has never been greater. Starbucks must respect our right to association."
The charges stem from an Unfair Labor Practice charge filed by the Starbucks Workers Union in January alleging a wide range of violations, from forbidding workers from discussion the union to kicking union sympathizers out of stores.