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Starbucks to Settle NLRB Complaint After String of Legal Losses in 2009

For Immediate Release:
IWW Starbucks Workers Union (Industrial Workers of the World)

Contact: Liberte Locke, 917-693-7742

December 30, 2009

Statement of the IWW Starbucks Workers Union

Year of Legal Losses for Starbucks is Capped Off with Another Union Victory

Less than two months after a legal defeat in a high-stakes appeal, Starbucks is settling charges of further workers' rights violations committed against baristas organizing with the Industrial Workers of the World for secure work hours, affordable health care, and respect on the job.

After an independent investigation, Region 2 of the National Labor Relations Board in Manhattan brought a complaint against the fast food coffee chain for illegally suspending and reprimanding a barista who stopped work to participate in a union protest; interrogating baristas about their union activity; and tearing down union flyers from company bulletin boards.

Earlier this year, Starbucks suffered similar legal losses in Michigan and Minnesota in addition to its defeat at the National Labor Relations Board in Washington, D.C.

While the union is pleased that Starbucks is being held accountable, it won't be joining the pending settlement between the company and the government because we prefer trials in open court where the public can get their own look at CEO Howard Schultz's relentless union-busting operation.

The IWW Starbucks Workers Union is a grassroots organization of baristas, bussers, and shift supervisors united for a living wage, secure work hours, and affordable health care at the world's largest coffee chain. The union enjoyed robust membership growth around the United States and expanded to Canada this year. Earlier this month, the union welcomed its newest members, from Fort Worth Texas, with a spirited protest action for affordable health care.