The company’s general counsel wrote in a letter to the NLRB that NLRB workers “engage in highly unfair, systemic misconduct involving Starbucks and Workers United.” Starbucks said an NLRB whistleblower alerted the company to the alleged misconduct.
Starbucks alleges that NLRB employees allowed some pro-union activists to vote in person, although it was decided that ballots would be mailed. Starbucks alleged that some workers missed the vote-by-mail deadline, but were not given the option to vote in person. Encouraging pro-union results.
The coffee chain also alleged that NLRB workers informed the union about when and how many ballots they received in the mail.
Starbucks said in the letter, “In the light of such misconduct by NLRB personnel, we request the Board to immediately postpone the nationwide Starbucks mail-ballot election until a thorough investigation is conducted.” ”
Starbucks is asking that the results of an investigation into alleged misconduct by the board be made public, and that “safeguards are put in place to prevent future misconduct” before proceeding. In the future, he wants the elections to be in-person.
“The NLRB does not comment on open matters,” said Kayla Bladow, director and press secretary in the NLRB’s Office of Congressional and Public Affairs, in a statement on the letter.
“The agency has well-established procedures for taking up challenges with respect to dealing with both electoral matters and unfair labor practice cases,” she said. “Those challenges should be raised in specific filings for particular cases.” Bladow said any questions raised in these channels will be considered “carefully and fairly” by the board.
Union organizers say the coffee chain is acting unfairly, and that the NLRB letter is another example of the company’s bad faith.
“This Starbucks is once again trying to divert attention from its unprecedented anti-union campaign,” Starbucks Workers United said in a statement. “Ultimately, this is Starbucks’ latest attempt to manipulate the legal process for its own means and prevent workers from exercising their fundamental right to organize.” Starbucks says it respects employees’ right to unionize.
In the letter, Starbucks noted that “the NLRB’s General Counsel and other board personnel have repeatedly stated that Starbucks has committed more than one hundred ‘unfair labor practice’ violations,” but that it “denies these statements.” from the fact that the Board has till date not drawn any conclusion as to the merits and demerits of any Starbucks infringement.”