Good things are happening! Starbucks workers win a major court ruling, the Hollywood writers’ strike closes with a tentative contract, nurses in Maine take a stand on public utilities, and the federal government steps in to protect childrens’ public health insurance.
Starbucks Gets Busted
A federal court found Thursday that Starbucks illegally punished workers for unionizing by denying them pay increases and benefits, even while the company boosted wages and benefits for non-union stores.
This is the first nationwide ruling against Starbucks regarding its opposition to a unionization effort that began in 2021 and now includes hundreds of Starbucks locations. Administrative Law Judge Mara-Louise Anzalone found that Starbucks violated the National Labor Relations Act last summer by denying workers in the few hundred stores that unionized the same new benefits they granted to workers at thousands of other non-union stores.
In non-union stores, management lifted wages to $15 an hour, allowed credit card tipping, provided additional training, and implemented faster sick time accrual — while workers at unionized locations didn’t see similar workplace improvements.
In this landmark decision, Starbucks must now provide thousands of workers with back pay and increased benefits. It is one of more than a dozen federal rulings against the corporation — and is so far the most expansive decision against the giant coffee chain for its many, many incidents of apparent union-busting.