Starbucks, a chain of American coffee bars, fired seven employees at a bar in Memphis. The organization said on Tuesday that seven people wanted to join the Starbucks Workers United (SWU) union.
The company accuses its employees of violating internal rules by interviewing journalists from the bar and outside of working hours, SWU said in a statement. But in reality, the union believes it is about revenge because seven people tried to form a labor organization. They were part of the team that led the effort.
“This is an attempt by Starbucks to take action against those who are fighting for unionization in the company and to block other employees,” said team leader Nicky Taylor.
The union approaches the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), the government agency responsible for enforcing labor law in the United States.
In Buffalo, a town near the Canadian border, the majority of employees of two Starbucks stores approved the formation of a union a few weeks ago. This is the first time for the chain. Employees in more than 50 locations across the United States are now trying to join the union.
Prior to the vote in Buffalo, Starbucks withdrew all stops to avoid unionization, sent executives to the region and launched counter-measures with the NLRB.
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