Starbucks fires Portland union organizer

REHIRE ARTHUR! The scene outside the 2328 W. Burnside Starbucks Nov. 12. | PHOTO BY DON McINTOSH


A worker at one of the first Portland Starbucks stores to unionize has been fired in what Workers United says is retaliation for union support.

Workers United, the union that now represents workers at 261 Starbucks stores nationwide, announced the firing on Nov. 10. Arthur Pratt, a six-year employee at the West 23rd and Burnside St. Starbucks in Portland, was fired for “minor time and attendance infractions,” according to the union, including one incident that took place a year earlier.

Pratt is a vocal supporter of the Starbucks union movement. After his store was one of four Portland locations where workers voted to unionize in May, Pratt told the Labor Press unionizing at Starbucks will solve the disconnect between management and workers at the company. Since then, Pratt has acted as a union representative for workers at other Portland-area Starbucks that have unionized. According to Workers United, Pratt was fired by the same district manager he interacted with in his role as a union representative—Shelby Runyon. Pratt’s store was one of two in Oregon preparing to bargain with management. 

Workers and union supporters rallied outside the West Burnside store on Nov. 12 to decry Pratt’s termination.

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