Starbucks Asks Labor Board To Halt Mail-in Ballot Union Elections Claiming Misconduct


Coffee retail giant Starbucks (SBUX) has asked the federal labor board to suspend all mail-in ballot union elections nationwide, alleging misconduct in the voting process.

According to CNBC, in a letter to the chairman and general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, Starbucks has accused that the labor board’s officials acted inappropriately during an election in the Kansas City area and has likely acted similarly in other elections.

Over 220 Starbucks cafes in the U.S. have voted to unionize, according to an NLRB tally as of Friday. An additional 34 elections have been ordered or are in progress, and seven more stores are waiting to schedule elections.

The union drive at Starbucks stores nationwide was trigged by a historic vote last December at a company location under the Workers United New York, a branch of the Service Employees International Union. As other locations have also unionized, the coffee giant has faced accusations of retaliating against and intimidating involved employees, which it has denied.

In June, the National Labor Relations Board filed a petition with the U.S. District Court in Buffalo accusing Starbucks of employing what the agency called an “expansive array of illegal tactics.”

The Board’s region director in Buffalo asked a federal court to re-instate seven local Starbucks workers who were fired, allegedly due to their union activities.

Starbucks denied the allegations. “As we have said previously, we believe these claims are false and will be prepared to defend our case,” it told media outlets at the time.

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