By COLIN STAUB
The National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) says Starbucks violated federal labor law when it waged an anti-union campaign in Eugene, Oregon this year.
In a complaint filed Nov. 3, NLRB Regional Director Ronald Hooks substantiated allegations made by workers – that during captive audience anti-union meetings, managers illegally threatened loss of benefits for unionizing, and that they later discriminated against union supporters.
The complaint lists the dates and store locations where the violations occurred, and the names of regional, district and store managers who committed them. The NLRB says mandatory (or “effectively mandatory”) anti-union meetings took place between late January and late April at two Eugene stores – 1895 Franklin Boulevard and 495 West 7th Ave. During those meetings, managers threatened workers with the loss of a “direct relationship” with management if they unionized.
Eugene Starbucks managers also began selectively enforcing Starbucks’ dress code against union supporters. Managers prohibited workers from displaying union logos on their clothing, but allowed other logos, the NLRB alleges.
The NLRB seeks to require that Starbucks inform Eugene workers of their rights, train managers on national labor law, pay workers for lost wages due to selective dress code enforcement, and apologize to workers who were retaliated against for union activity.
A hearing on the NLRB complaint is set for Feb. 21, 2023 before a federal administrative law judge.
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