September 28, 2022

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‘I got fired from Starbucks for being 3 minutes late to work’ – 08/16/2022 – Mercado

In a relatively unexpected move, employees at about 220 Starbucks coffee shops across the United States Voted for a union of sorts.

But the mobilization came at a challenging time The economy slows down And the company is working furiously.

Jocelyn Zukuwillanki had been working at Starbucks for about seven years when she was fired last month.

The 28-year-old knew it could happen.

While she was enjoying her job as a barista, which gave her the flexibility to care for her daughter-in-law, Jocelyn grew frustrated with the company’s position. On sick leave during the Covid-19 pandemic β€” and tried to rally colleagues in New York to join a union.

After a while, his boss began punishing him for infractions that didn’t lead to punishment for other employees, such as arriving a few minutes late for his 5:30 a.m. shift.

In July, he lost his shop key, which was in the shop. Although I informed the manager immediately, that seems to be the last straw.

In the layoff notice, Starbucks cited the “pattern of delay” and the critical incident.

“It’s definitely a form of retaliation. I’ve never seen anyone fired for being less than five minutes late,” says Joslin, who works at Starbucks for more than $22 an hour. 2015.

Union leaders say Joslin’s case is part of a nationwide crackdown that has seen more than 75 union activists fired and some stores closed as the company, which bills itself as a progressive workplace, tries to prevent the labor movement from winning.

Starbucks, which owns nearly 9,000 stores in the U.S. and licenses thousands more, refuses to retaliate. The company says it respects workers’ right to unionize and has closed stores based on safety reports.

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But there is no doubt that the company sees the union as a threat.

“We don’t believe that a third party should lead our people, so we’re in a battle for hearts and minds. We’re going to win,” Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said during a conference call in June.

‘Core Values’

Born into a working-class Brooklyn family, Schultz followed various labor movements at the company throughout his first tenure as CEO from 1987 to 2000. Huge, internationally recognized network.

When the company’s CEO Kevin Johnson retired in April this year amid a union campaign, Schultz returned as interim CEO, promising to mend the company’s relationship with its employees and “reinvent the role and responsibility of a publicly traded company.”

The company’s top management organized dozens of meetings on the matter to find out about complaints and to convince employees that the company could respond better without a union.

The company announced an investment of more than $1 billion in salary increases, additional training and other improvements, bringing the company’s minimum wage in the U.S. to $15 an hour and an average of $17 an hour.

When the wage hike took effect Aug. 1, the company intentionally did not extend the raise to workers in unionized stores, saying it would have to negotiate a change in benefits as part of a broader contract.

“Sharing success through wins and benefits with our partners is one of our core values, and has been for 50 years,” Schultz said in May.

“Our values ​​are not the result of demands or interference from any outside entity.

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Globally, unions represent a small portion of the company’s workforce, mainly in Chile.

Starbucks Syndicate

The latest developments announced by pro-union campaigners, Starbucks, are the result of their efforts, which have included approximately 60 labor strikes across the United States.

Their cause was bolstered by an unusually buoyant job market, which eventually empowered workers to speak out at companies across the U.S., including Apple and Amazon.

But as the economy shows signs of slowing down, those conditions may change. At the same time, Starbucks’ response is intensifying, and organizers are facing pressure to negotiate a tighter contract.

Evan Sunshine, 20, worked at a Starbucks store in Ithaca, New York, which voted to unionize in April and was recently closed by the company, struggling to fix an overflowing kitchen grease trap.

Evan credits the union with helping him move his job elsewhere, but warns that “a lot of workers are starting to get fed up, and workers at other non-unionized stores may want to, but are afraid of all this retaliation.”

The United Labor Union has accused Starbucks of violating labor laws, filing dozens of complaints against the company with the government’s labor rights watchdog, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

The NLRB filed 16 complaints on its own after investigating the claims and, in some cases, sought court orders to immediately reinstate the fired employees β€” an unusually proactive move.

Starbucks, which is fighting the allegations, has filed its own complaints accusing the union and regulators of misconduct.

He also called for dozens of pending union elections to be suspended while his grievances are investigated. The company also recently blocked an NLRB request to reinstate workers on an emergency basis in Arizona.

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Regardless of how these disputes are resolved, Risa Lieberwitz, a professor of employment law at Cornell University in the US and director of the Labor Institute, says US companies often exceed the law’s limits because the protections and penalties for violating them are popular. Weak.

According to him, the most serious risk for the company is that the conflict will affect its brand, as polls indicate that American approval of unionization has risen to its highest level in decades.

Recently, a group of socially conscious investors sent a letter urging Starbucks to take a neutral stance, saying the company has a long history of endearing itself to progressive customers by partnering with causes like Black Lives Matter.

“Public opinion is always important, especially if you have a very large and well-known company that wants to get exposure. [progressista]”, Lieberwitz says.

“When that kind of conflict arises … it can really damage the company’s reputation.”

For now, Starbucks seems willing to take that risk.

At the Joslin store, employees decided not to join the union in a five-to-six vote in May.

The union is contesting the results, alleging unfair practices.

Jocelyn spread rumors that her manager was paying for her union work, cut her hours, and warned employees that she would be denied promotions and other benefits.

“It was very disappointing,” he says.

“They played on people’s vulnerabilities and humiliated me, so they won.”

This text was originally published by Here.