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Union claims victory after Starbucks prevented from halting collective bargaining vote

COFFEE giant Starbucks was prevented on Tuesday from impounding ballots cast by the company’s workers on whether they want union representation.

Starbucks Workers United, a union of Starbucks baristas organising in the US city of Buffalo, welcomed the National Labour Relations Board’s (NLRB) decision to dismiss Starbucks’ request to halt vote entirely.

The NLRB’s ruling, the union said, signalled yet another win for the workers.  

“This is exactly why we need a union, so our voices can be heard, and we can work to make Starbucks the company we used to love,” said Michelle Eisen, a barista in the city’s Elmwood branch.

Her colleague Jaz Brisack said: “It’s unfortunate to see them still trying to stop ballots from being counted at the 11th hour, but it shows the world what we’ve been up against with this company.

“We haven’t done anything wrong, we just want a voice in our workplace and despite the money Starbucks has spent on lawyers trying to stop that, the NLRB is telling us we have a right to this vote.

“If anything, this is bringing even more people onto our side when they see how hard the company is fighting its own partners.”

Ian Hayes, a lawyer working with the union, said: “From the day partners filed the first NLRB petitions to hold union elections, Starbucks has shown it has no shame and will sink to any depth to try to break partners’ momentum, sow confusion and interfere with partners’ right to a fair election.

“The company has failed every step of the way because the legal positions it has taken are intellectually vacant, and today’s decision by the NLRB is the latest proof of that.”

As ordered by the NLRB, voting is scheduled to end on December 8th with votes being counted on December 9 at 1pm EST by video conference.


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