Why Starbucks Is In Hot Water Over 200 Labor Violations

The weather is warming up and that means the iced coffee and Frappuccino season commences at Starbucks. Of course, there will be time to enjoy the beaches and parks, but chances are you're grabbing your favorite cold Starbs beverage for the ride. If the sun is making you feel a bit adventurous, you can always leave your comfort zone and grab a Refresher from the secret Starbucks menu next time you visit.

Whatever you order, the next time you see your local Starbucks barista, offer a smile because potentially, they may be going through some difficulties. Per CNBC, the company has been accused of "29 unfair labor practice charges that included over 200 violations of the National Labor Relations Act."

The outlet states that the group, Starbucks Workers United, began in Buffalo and has been conglomerating since August of 2021, and has since recruited over 50 Starbucks locations to join the cause. Starbucks spokesman Reggie Borges told CNBC that "We believe the allegations contained in the complaint are false, and we look forward to presenting our evidence when the allegations are adjudicated."

So what, exactly, is the Starbucks Workers United group claiming?

Starbucks employees demand better wages and working conditions via unionization

As reported by CNBC, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) is claiming that Starbucks has interfered with its employees wishing to unionize by way of "restraining and coercing." The NLRB also alleges that the company "threatened and intimidated" its employees by shutting down stores, paying fewer wages, and even firing some workers.

Per NPR, the Buffalo-based group is part of a nationwide demand to unionize and the Buffalo regional director for the NLRB has presented a lengthy list of violations with the intention of receiving back pay for employees as well as reinstatement for those who were fired. Three Starbucks locations in Buffalo held the first union votes in December of 2021 and at least one has become unionized.

Starbucks employee union attempts have expanded to at least 19 states so far, with the common goal of better wages, working conditions, and benefits. Of the complaint, in a statement, Starbucks Workers United said "Starbucks will be held accountable for the union-busting minefield they forced workers to walk through in fighting for their right to organize," (per CNBC). The statement went further, calling the company's self-touted progressiveness a "façade."