The National Labor Relations Board dealt a blow to Starbucks’ legal strategy in response to a growing union campaign on Wednesday, rejecting the company’s argument that workers wanted unionization in the industry. a geographical area must vote in a union election.
In a ruling regarding an election in Mesa, Ariz., the Council noted the long-held assumption that a single store is an appropriate unit for a vote — as public advocates do. the group emphasized.
Starbucks workers at more than 100 stores nationwide have filed to vote to unionize, and workers at two stores in Buffalo have formed a union.
Unions generally prefer smaller elections, which tend to increase their chances of winning, albeit on a smaller scale. Workers United, the union seeking to represent Starbucks employees, has complained that Starbucks has consistently resisted store-by-store elections despite gain less traction on the issue as a way to delay the votes and halt the union’s momentum.
Starbucks has argued that elections should be market-wide because employees can work at multiple locations and because stores within a market are managed as a relatively cohesive unit.
Before Wednesday’s ruling, the board was also unmoved by that argument in Buffalo. But unlike the previous ad hoc decision in Buffalo, the action in the Arizona case sets a binding precedent and will likely make it more difficult for Starbucks to raise such objections in the future.
However, the company said it will continue to address the issue. Reggie Borges, a Starbucks spokeswoman, said in a statement: “Our position from the outset has been that all partners in a market or region deserve the right to vote on a decision that will affect to them. “We will continue to respect the NLRB process and support our partners’ ability to voice their voices.”
In the short term, the board’s decision means a vote count at a Starbucks in Mesa could go ahead after being postponed last week.
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/23/business/economy/starbucks-union-vote-mesa.html Is Starbucks’ Strategy for Responding to Coalition Elections a Step Back?