Starbucks is now calling for the suspension of mail-in ballots in a union vote that is currently underway in stores across the United States. The coffee chain is complaining to employees of the National Labor Relations Commission in Kansas, claiming that it is freeing itself from the misbehavior of controlling mail-in ballots, which it says undermines the outcome of helping unionize.
In a letter to the union, the union employees in question stated that they were “engaged in highly inappropriate and systematic misconduct involving Starbucks and Walker United.” Starbucks alleges that the NLRB whistleblower warned the company of wrongdoing.
Starbucks has been trying to stop the union movement from developing for months. As of August 12, 2022, unions are guaranteed to vote for unionization in 199 Starbucks stores and vote against unionization in 36 Starbucks stores. So far, there have been election appeals in 314 stores.
Starbucks accuses NLRB workers of seldom allowing pro-union members to vote in person, even though it has been confirmed that voting is expected by mail. Starbucks called for union support, arguing that some employees missed the time limit to vote by mail but were not given the option to vote in person.
The coffee chain also claimed to have provided union data, such as when and how many votes were received by NLRB employees in the mail.
“In view of this misconduct by NLRB employees, we request that the Board immediately suspend all Starbucks mail-in ballot elections nationwide… “until there is a thorough investigation,” Starbucks said in the letter.
Starbucks is questioning whether ‘safeties to prevent future misconduct’ are in place before the results of inspections of misconduct brought by its board are made public and moving forward.
“The NLRB does not comment on unresolved cases,” said NLRB Parliamentary and Public Secretary Kyla Blado in a
letter . “These issues should be raised in the submission of specific papers on the specific point of the matter,” Blade said. Stores voting for unionization make up only a small fraction of the 9,000 corporately operated Starbucks stores in the U.S. Nevertheless, Starbucks
is taking the initiative seriously.
They wanted a link and made it very clear that unions could interfere, arguing that they could not confirm that unionized workers had access to some of the benefits afforded to non-union workers.And in May, Starbucks claimed it was uneasy about the White House dumping it at a meeting with union members.
Union coordinators argue that the coffee chain has been behaving unfairly, and the NLRB letter is another example of the company’s disloyalty behavior.