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Starbucks Union Responds to Anti-Union Intimidation In Grand Rapids, Michigan with More Unfair Labor Practice Charges

For Immediate Release
IWW Starbucks Workers Union,

Contact: starbucksunion (at)

Union Alleges that the Embattled Coffee Giant is Violating a Settlement Agreement

Grand Rapids, MI (04/15/2008)- As Starbucks awaits the decision in a trial over 30-plus unfair labor practices in New York City, the IWW Starbucks Workers Union has filed labor charges against the company in Michigan. These new charges come less than a year since Starbucks signed a settlement agreement with the National Labor Relations Board pledging to refrain from unlawful anti-union intimidation in Grand Rapids. Baristas say Starbucks anti-union activity has continued unabated since the agreement. The new charges included alleged violations of the settlement agreement.

"Instead of respecting the agreement they reached with the NLRB, Starbucks has continued retaliating against employees. They continue to refuse to respect barista's right to organize," said Cole Dorsey a barista and union member in East Grand Rapids. "Instead of trying to get publicity with national barista 're-trainings', Howard Schultz needs to re-train his management team so they quit violating national labor laws."

The new charges include further discrimination of bulletin board usage - a violation of the agreement signed last year. They also include selective punishment of union baristas, scheduling baristas based on their union sympathies, and not allowing union baristas to transfer to other stores.

The IWW Starbucks Workers Union is a grassroots organization of employees at the world's largest coffee chain united for secure work hours and a living wage. The union has members throughout the United States fighting for systemic change at the company and remedying individual grievances with management.

Union baristas, bussers, and shift supervisors have fought successfully for improved scheduling and staffing levels, increased wages, and workplace safety. Workers who join the union have immediate access to co-workers and members of the community who will struggle with them for a better life on the job.