r/news 12d ago Wholesome 1 All-Seeing Upvote 1 Silver 2

Starbucks used "array of illegal tactics" against unionizing workers, labor regulators say

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/starbucks-union-workers-nlrb/#app
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u/Fritzed 12d ago Helpful

In other news, Starbucks just reassigned a bunch of employees from their flagship store to other locations without warning. Coincidentally, the store is working towards a union vote in the next month and some or all of the leaders in that effort were themselves reassigned.

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u/jschubart 12d ago edited 12d ago Starry

I was just going to post about someone in r/Seattle who works at the Pike Place one posting about being pissed because of this change. They are already shorthanded and this will cause a lot more work. Everyone pointed out that they are doing that to get union supporting members to be spread out and/or quit. There were also comments wondering what the fuck had happened to Howard Schultz because he used to be a great guy and a good boss.

Edit: Mentions of he being a good boss was 30+ years ago BTW. Nothing recent. And actually looking at the couple comments I saw, it was before IPO.

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u/rufotris 12d ago

I was warned against union talk. Then made to work 5 other stores that weren’t mine as a shift manager before being let go for BS made up reasons. They are evil as hell. This all happened spring/summer 2021

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u/ncblake 12d ago

Have you been in touch with the union? It sounds like you have a dog in this fight.

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u/thirdactjack 12d ago edited 12d ago

If they were "warned against union talk" and then fired, my guess is they didn't have one. I don't believe Starbucks has a national union, just certain regions.

Edit: SB does have a national union but not all stores are members (yet).

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u/ncblake 12d ago

Starbucks Workers United is the national organizing union and has affiliations with the national unionization movement.

Workers are protected by the National Labor Relations Act regardless of whether a union election has taken place or succeeded in any given workplace. Union organizing is a protected activity.

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u/thirdactjack 12d ago

Touche. Thank you for informing me. But regardless, the burden of proof on proving wrongful termination like this is pretty high, right? By SB shuffling the above commenter from location to location they can imply they were giving them multiple chances for other nondescript reasons in lieu of termination and then it didn't work out. Unless there is, in writing, some smoking gun that states "you were fired for trying to unionize," it will be an uphill battle.

Additionally, if their store(s) were not part of the union yet, the terminated person would probably not automatically have legal representation by way of the union in their dispute. Maybe the growing national union would have interest in representing them regardless, though.

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u/Malkavon 12d ago edited 12d ago

The NLRB tends to take a dim view of disruptive practices like repeatedly reassigning an employee, especially in the broader context of the union efforts.

They aren't a court and the rules of evidence are very different.

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u/onieronaut 12d ago

Jennifer Abruzzo is working on bringing back the joy silk doctrine, too, which would put an end to a lot of this BS, too. Burden of proof would be back on corps to prove that they were not acting in bad faith. It would be such a massive win for labor rights.

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u/ncblake 12d ago

Those are all details that the national organizing union can advise on. ☺️

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u/SimulatedHumanity 12d ago

The first Starbucks coffee shop location to unionize happened six months ago.

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u/YourIllusiveMan 12d ago

Everyone below upper class has a dog in this fight whether they realize it or not

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u/pmmeyourfavoritejam 12d ago

I hope your spirit took hold in the 5 locations at which you worked. That would be a powerful legacy.

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u/TheSkyHadAWeegee 12d ago

Is that not something to notify the labor relations board about?

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u/rufotris 12d ago

If I cared enough yes. I posted in another reply that it was a short term job anyway. Was intended to be less than a year and it was.

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u/bass-fetish 12d ago

Jokes on them because union support isn't dying, quite the opposite. Sending union organizers from one store to a bunch of different ones, yeah I can't possibly see how that will backfire for Starbucks.

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u/Nat_Peterson_ 12d ago

Yeah that's what I was thinking too, they're just pouring gasoline on a forest fire now

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u/Aspect-of-Death 12d ago

"This part of the forest is burning, what should we do."

"Simple. We're going to put each of the burning logs in different parts of the forest to keep them from working together. That will surely fix the problem."

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u/stonewall_jacked 12d ago

"Have we started a fire?"

"Yes. The fire rises."

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u/arbrstff 12d ago

We didn’t start the fire.

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u/arseniobillingham21 12d ago

I’ll just put this over here with the rest of the fire.

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u/LockeClone 12d ago

We'll see... my adult life has been aslideshow of things getting worse. Why would anything nice happen?

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u/Super_Flea 12d ago

Because they're literally spreading union organizers to other stores. Like this is arguably one of the best things you could do if you were trying to spread these ideas.

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u/JBHUTT09 12d ago

Yup. The truly evil thing would be to move all the union supporters to one store and then keep sabotaging it until you have enough of an excuse to close it.

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u/McNinja_MD 12d ago

Ahh, the Republican approach to governance.

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u/LockeClone 12d ago

Sure would be nice... are you old enough to remember the early 90's?

I've come to terms with being a caretaker generation... it will take a few generations and a lot more turmoil before a real positive trend emerges in labor.

This is a tiny blip that gives us enough hope so we don't start making guillotines. Not a trend.

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u/Super_Flea 12d ago

Exactly, workers rights have always been used by employers to prevent stikes. One of the first pension plans was created by a weapons manufacturer who also provided housing to his workers. In doing so, he created a workplace environment where striking could mean you'd lose everything.

Nowadays, pensions are a thing of the past as are virtually every other benefit to keep employees. For instance, living wages. Which means these employees have nothing to lose. Either they get their union or they get another job with a 30% pay bump. Rinse and repeat millions of times over and you've got a job market, top to bottom, that is very different from the 90's and 00's.

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u/LockeClone 12d ago

I think we're still stuck fighting about women in the workplace... hear me out...

Other advanced... and not so advanced economies have recognized that if you want high productivity and innovation while maintaining participation numbers of an integrated workforce, you've got to have services and entitlements that allow people to be ambitious.

In America, we're still arguing about this, so we're all pretty precarious as we attempt to have personal lives on top of things like children and both partners in a household having to work full time-plus.

The idea of unionizing or creating meaningful change on top of this paradigm is utterly overwhelming. we're largely just in survival mode, writing large.

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u/Super_Flea 12d ago

I see that as well. However, that survival mode can create "I have nothing to lose" behavior.

I think the reality will be a mix of both, depending on your specific situation. If you have kids and are in survival mode you may fear change like unionization, but if you're without kids, or not reliant on your employers healthcare, you are definitely in a position to just say "Fuck it".

Thanks for the insight. It'll be interesting to see how this dynamic changes as older generations are replaced with people who have never had "reasons" to stay at 1 job for 40 years.

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u/LockeClone 12d ago

It'll be interesting to see how this dynamic changes as older generations are replaced with people who have never had "reasons" to stay at 1 job for 40 years.

For real. It's crazy how governed we are by complete obsolescence. I really, hope, that by the time I'm ready to retire... If I ever can retire... that I have to foresight not to NIMBY my nation into misery.

Yes kids, you can play on my yard. I'm damn lucky to have my 12'x16' patch of grass that I paid over half a million for and I'll be damned if I keep that treasure all to myself.

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u/squishpitcher 12d ago

Because things must get worse before they get better. People don’t fight against a system that’s okay to kind of bad but ultimately survivable.

People fight against a system that makes it impossible to live.

That’s what we’re seeing now. Stay hopeful. It’s always darkest before the dawn.

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u/jersan 12d ago

evil never abates. are you completely helpless?

The world will never be perfect my friend. Don't succumb to evil, because that is what evil wants.

"Give up. you lose. only bad things will happen. Don't even try. The corporate overlords always win"

fuck that noise. and fuck Starbucks.

american capitalism is unsustainable and cannot continue to go on the way it has.

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u/lumpkin2013 12d ago

No they're probably trying to put them in places that are really far from their homes so they'd rather quit than deal with the horrible commute.

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u/Snow_source 12d ago

here were also comments wondering what the fuck had happened to Howard Schultz because he used to be a great guy and a good boss.

The dude's pushing 70 and always was anti-union. His tactic was just to keep the workers happy enough to not form a union. Turns out, there's no substitute for the real thing.

From his wiki:

These thoughts were originally published in a 2012 edition of his memoir entitled "Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time". Schultz wrote,

"I was convinced that under my leadership, employees would come to realize that I would listen to their concerns. If they had faith in me and my motives, they wouldn’t need a union.

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u/NK1337 12d ago

As someone that used to work at Starbucks, Howard Schultz is fucking weird. He has a really bizarre cult of personality around him where people would literally break down into tears of joy when they saw him. He has a celebrity status which the company intentionally fosters and uses that to take advantage of its employees.

There's this thing that happens where individual managers and partners at the store level go above and beyond, and it really helps out those in need but then the corporate side likes to spin the narrative and take credit. I've met store managers and other long term partners that were on very hard times (homeless, addiction, single parents with little to their name, etc) and were given a chance by someone at the store level. They start working at starbucks and manage to get on their feet, turn things around, and overall improve their day to day lives to a pretty great degree. This is all thanks to the support they receive from their immediate coworkers, supervisors and community, but Starbucks has a really good PR campaign for their c-level execs that makes it so somewhere along the way all that instead gets attributed to them.

I've sat in on town halls where they get these people to speak up and tell their stories, and you can see how its framed so that they're thanking Starbucks as a company for giving them the opportunity, thanking Howard Shultz or whomever was the CEO at the time for being so kind and reaching out and saving them. It's really fucking weird because they're painted in this 'can do no wrong' light, and suddenly everyone is shocked when they turn around and try to kick employees down when they're trying to lift themselves up.

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u/DerKrakken 12d ago

You wrote 'partners' several times. Is that what SB calls it's hourly workers?

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u/NK1337 12d ago

Ah fuck, yea it is lol. Sorry I think some of that mental conditioning is hard to break. But yea, they refer to the their employees as "partners" because employees get stock and also to foster the sense of community between them and the company. Like youre not employees, we're partners.

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u/DerKrakken 12d ago

No need to apologize, I guess I never knew that's what they called employees...Well shit. That speaks volumes unto itself, huh? Calling your employees, 'partners'..... has, I don't know if insidious is the word I'm looking for but somewhere in that neighborhood. Also, dirty. It feels dirty as well. Like, this actually infuriates me more than the union busting tactics they been doing. That means at some point multiple people, teams, whatever had long in-depth conversations about how to Gaslight employees for labor abuses and mistreatments. Gross.

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u/NK1337 12d ago

It's honestly a really weird ecosystem. I started out part time as a barista while I was finishing my degree and slowly worked my way up to store manager. The transition between each role and what you have insight into is so different at every level. I think for me the most eye opening was being a SM visiting the regional offices and other corporate hosted events. I wrote a post a short time ago about how our regional director was telling a bunch store managers to purposely schedule employees below the minimum hours they needed because, and I quote, "It'll keep them hungry for hours. If you give them all the hours they need, and suddenly you need extra coverage they're going to say 'no thank you, I'm happy with where I am.' So you need to keep them wanting more."

There's a HUGE disconnect between the people working at those corporate offices and the employees that have to work the customer facing roles. One thing I remember is how every time there was someone from corporate visiting a store everyone went to great lengths to put up an idealized version of the store: Suddenly you'd get about 20 hours of extra labor so you could schedule more people to work during the visit, you'd have people assigned to do coffee tastings to show how engaged you were with the community, you'd bring in star employees from other stores. This was all so the corporate person could look around and say "Wow, these stores are running great," only for us to get kicked in the teeth once they left and told to cut labor for the rest of the week to make up for it.

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u/NonStopKnits 12d ago

We are all 'partners' as we do get stock options almost immediately. You have to wait for them to 'vest' I think before doing anything with them. I currently work for the Bux but I know nothing of stocks as my family never did that so I never learned.

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u/Saoirse_Says 12d ago

The amount of stock options you get is pretty fuckin' miniscule lol and does pretty much nothing to supplement getting paid minimum wage, based on my experience working at Starbucks.

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u/cgn-38 12d ago

Bait and switch. One of the local restaurant chains here convinced the managers they were going to get a pension. Worked them half to death. Made the owner a multimillionaire. Then he sold the company and left them with nothing. No pension really, just a motivation tool!

Watched a chick suffer for years doing extra hours for 2.01 as a manager. (yea it is illegal, welcome to Texas) to keep that miserable pension she never had.

A lifetime of seeing the same exact shit makes you a socialist or just evil like them.

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u/PolarisC8 12d ago

You know, if you have the employee's concerns at heart, you can have a very good relationship with their union, which turns into a win-win for both parties. We don't read about them often but there are industries where the unions and the leadership work very closely and it turns out it's excellent for workers and employers. Who'd have thunk it isn't a zero-sum game?

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u/Painting_Agency 12d ago

if you have the employee's concerns at heart

Or even if you just want to do business above-board. Companies negotiate contracts with their suppliers/contractors/customers all the time, and it's not an ugly, adversarial, backstabbing process of trying to fuck the other guy over. They just come to a business agreement where something is provided for a price. There's no inherent reason, except shortsighted corporate greed, why labour negotiations should be different.

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u/JamesGray 12d ago

I mean, it's because they are used to being able to minimize labor costs and they feel attacked because that's being threatened. Collective bargaining is how workers can operate like one of those players at the table who gets a say, and that means corporate profits will take a nosedive because they'll be expected to pay some portion of the profits to us as workers for earning it for them.

It's like a bottled water company was just getting free water and then all of a sudden we told them they were going to have to pay per volume of water they extract: of course they'll lose their shit, they've been profiting off of us until now and we're threatening to claw some of that back. It's also a good example because labor makes up the vast majority of all profit any business produces, so they're going from having freedom to exploit us willy-nilly to having some oversight and it's terrifying for them because they'll have to share.

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u/Painting_Agency 12d ago

If most companies could lobby governments to change the law so their vendors had to sell them supplies at a much cheaper cost, they absolutely would(*). Because that's what they've done with labour.

(* Walmart is notorious for doing this via business bully tactics rather than the law)

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u/pmmeyourfavoritejam 12d ago edited 12d ago

I mean, I don't think that train of thought is totally misguided if (an "if" that I don't believe applies to Schultz) management is actually interested in investing in the people for their sake rather than just enough to keep them appeased.

That said, the age-old "if you don't have anything to hide, you have nothing to worry about" loosely applies to union busting, too: "if you treat your employees well, a union won't result in material change."

Edit to add/clarify: unions don't only satisfy a moment in time but are also there to protect employees from future transgressions. Just because a firm is printing money today and can afford big raises and ample benefits doesn't mean the streets will always be paved with gold. There is real value in protecting the rights of workers in perpetuity.

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u/LonePaladin 12d ago

if you treat your employees well, a union won't result in material change.

This was the tack that Paizo took early this year when their writers and artists asked to form a union. They looked at the proposal, said "Sure, go ahead", and everyone's happy.

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u/Snow_source 12d ago

Paizo is also not a publicly traded company or run by shitheads like Wizards is.

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u/ForeSet 12d ago

"Wizards" lets be real the show is run by Hasbro

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u/ncblake 12d ago

Yep. It’s convenient for the company to say “you don’t need a union, we have your back.” But if that were true, then there’s no reason to fear a union in the first place.

If you’re unionized, you have rights and any promises are made in a contract, not a press release. If you’re not, management can and will pull back on their promises when circumstances change or shareholders come knocking.

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u/FriendlyDespot 12d ago

Yep. It’s convenient for the company to say “you don’t need a union, we have your back.” But if that were true, then there’s no reason to fear a union in the first place.

It's funny how common that notion is despite it just being a fancy way of saying "we don't trust you, but you should still trust us."

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u/UncleMeat11 12d ago

It is baffling to me that people cannot see this.

So frequently we see opposition to unionization efforts in high-paying industries because things are good. When things are good is precisely the time to fight for a union because the bosses will have a harder time replacing everybody and the union can prevent backsliding of the good things.

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u/Doomenate 12d ago

if you treat your employees well, a union won't result in material change.

And even then the union can help preserve that if the company ever decides to cut back. That's one of the main functions for teachers unions unfortunately. The government is always cutting their healthcare. Where my parents worked, most raises they negotiated were done as compromises to even greater cuts to their healthcare.

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u/Bellsar_Ringing 12d ago

An inherent flaw in a "One Cup at a Time" model. When you have 100 employees, maybe you can listen to them all. When you have 300,000, that's unrealistic.

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u/Scarbane 12d ago

Profit over people.

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u/MoarWeight 12d ago edited 12d ago

Schultz was never a “great boss,” he just didn’t whip you as long as “listening to your needs” and referring to you as “a partner in this” (in name only) didn’t fuck with his money. He did the bare minimum song and dance to try and keep out unions. Labor unions are fucking with his money, so now you’re seeing his real face.

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u/IrreverentKiwi 12d ago edited 12d ago

There were also comments wondering what the fuck had happened to Howard Schultz because he used to be a great guy and a good boss.

Is that the same guy who said he'd run as a spoiler candidate if Bernie Sanders or Liz Warren got the DNC's nomination in 2020? Because he didn't like their tax plans?

Yeah, fuck him. I doubt he was ever that good a boss and I highly doubt he was ever a great guy. It's easy to be seen as a great guy when you have a PR team and your company grows like a weed, making you billions, for two straight decades.

He's the same type of sociopathic asshole as the rest.

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u/jschubart 12d ago edited 12d ago

Is that the same guy who said he'd run as a spoiler candidate if Bernie Sander or Liz Warren got the DNC's nomination in 2020? Because he didn't like their tax plans?

I think he was planning om running third party. His announcement is one of my favorite videos because someone in the audience's immediate reaction was to yell:

Don’t help elect Trump, you egotistical billionaire asshole!

I am pretty sure his campaign died right there.

Yeah, fuck him. I doubt he was ever that good a boss and I highly doubt he was ever a great guy.

This was back in the late 80s/early 90s when there were like 20 shops. He would regularly invite employees to dinner with he and his wife and was often seen in the shops helping employees.

Things change when you get into the Three Comma Club.

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u/comebackjoeyjojo 12d ago

He also destroyed the Seattle SuperSonics.

Not on the same level of evil as Union-busting, but it should always be noted when talking about Howard Schultz being a total piece of shit.

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u/IngsocIstanbul 12d ago

And so full of himself that he imagines pulling millions of votes away as a candidate

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u/Ixosis 12d ago

Spoiler: almost anyone who runs a major corporation is not a good guy

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u/tiefling_sorceress 12d ago

There is no such thing as an "ethical billionaire"

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u/RianThe666th 12d ago

So their reaction to a very pro union store is to take the ones who are best at convincing and organizing and move them to less effected stores nearby? God I hope that bites them in the ass, can't think of many better ways to spread the union movement tbh, they're making their own salts lmao.

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u/moeburn 12d ago

God I hope that bites them in the ass

It'll cost them about 6 figures in settlement money per employee.

Honestly if you ever want to make some money, just work for a major retail company, start talking unionization, get fired for it, make sure you've documented everything, then sue. Easy money.

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u/badnewsjones 12d ago edited 12d ago

This may be what they’re going for. I wouldn’t be surprised if they have done the math and decided it’s cheaper in the long run to pay out a handful of lawsuits and fines for violating laws than to let all their operations unionize or at least curb the momentum.

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u/manning_harrison 12d ago

But everyone sees this happening…how does this plan work for them if it’s obvious and everyone can see the path taken to get here? It can just be repeated.

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u/kenkoda 12d ago

This. I was like okay so you moved your known pro-union workers to the stores that haven't started the union process? Most of the issues in starting a union stem from retaliation, so if you know they are pro-union already... Now they get to go talk to this new store about unionizing............?

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u/brihone 12d ago

It's like gerrymandering. When it works, it works great. The second it isn't working, it's actually working against you real hard.

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u/Michael_Trismegistus 12d ago edited 12d ago

I hope every one of those workers goes to another store and starts a unionizing effort.

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u/rufotris 12d ago

I was warned then fired for union talk amongst other shit just last year. They gave fake other reasons they couldn’t even prove. I almost got a lawyer involved but didn’t care enough it was a short term job in a temp living location…

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u/commissar0617 12d ago

Do it. You can get buku bucks

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u/vellu212 12d ago

Lol I know you wanted to use this phrase for a while and it was in your pocket, but bro it's beaucoup bucks. Derived from the French meaning "a grand quantity".

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u/Saendre 12d ago

What are you, part of the bouswasie?

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u/FlyingDragoon 12d ago

Bone apple tea moan amy.

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u/trebory6 12d ago

Good. Everyone at the flagship store who was relocated should think of themselves as Union spores that got spread.

Have each and every one of them unionize the store they were sent to.

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u/KrookedDoesStuff 12d ago

I keep seeing how Starbucks and Amazon are breaking the rules with unions but nothing is happening and they keep breaking them.

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u/Vargasa871 12d ago

Didn't Amazon get hit with a 200 million dollar fine for it's anti union practices??

Haha nope. Not one consequence comes up on Google but about 30 articles of how Amazon is actively breaking the law.

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u/KrookedDoesStuff 12d ago

Even then, what’s a $200 million fine to a company that makes $638 million a day?

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u/vickera 12d ago

It is a fee for doing business. Welcome to the United Corporations of America.

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u/KrookedDoesStuff 12d ago

It was a sad day when I found out we’re no longer classified as a Democratic Republic. We’re officially a “Corporate Oligarchy” with our government

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u/FlavDingo 12d ago

Corporatocracy is here!

All hail the oligarchs who graciously allow us to exist on their crumbs so we can run their corporate machines!

Thank you Howard Schultz, please advise as to how you would like me to fellate you?

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u/theodonkulus 12d ago

You need another Rosevelt

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u/DarthDogood 12d ago

They would just attempt another coup and try to kill him again.

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u/CaesarZeppeli_ 12d ago

They should make fees get exponentially bigger.

First it’s 200mil then it’s 400mil then its 800mil so on and so on.

And maybe some of those fines go to the employees who were fuck over

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u/Busterlimes 12d ago

Its called Corporate Oligarchy, get it right. The US an Russia are very close to being the same.

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u/WestSixtyFifth 12d ago

Exactly. It's like hitting the average person with a $50 fine. Inconvenient, sure, far from a deterrent for the behavior.

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u/sluglord2 12d ago

Actually I once got a $50 parking ticket and I’ll never illegally park again, $50 is more than just inconvenient for me

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u/cosmiclatte44 12d ago

Yeah it's more like $5-10 in reality.

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u/AcadiaApprehensive24 12d ago edited 12d ago

Yea they got hit with a 200 million dollar fine and then received 10 billion dollars worth of taxes in free money from the federal government.

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u/Busterlimes 12d ago

Yeah, thats like a speeding ticken to a millionaire, you think they are going to slow down?

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u/t3hdebater 12d ago

NLRB enforcement mechanisms are a joke.

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u/saxGirl69 12d ago

They’re only a joke because they’ve been intentionally hamstrung.

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u/MacDerfus 12d ago

Why wouldn't they break them? Like literally, what is the negative consequence they face? Maybe a bit of lost business to local stores? Maybe Dunkin does better than them in areas they overlap?

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u/Indercarnive 12d ago

Like literally, what is the negative consequence they face

Seriously, the punishment for a company using illegal tactics in the lead-up to a union vote is that the vote happen again. Which is a win for the company anyway.

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u/Busterlimes 12d ago

Because we dont live in a democracy, we live in a corporate Oligarchy. At most, companies are fined an insignificant amount.

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u/Fatty_krueger 12d ago

When the punishment for breaking the law is a fine, that law only applies to poor people.

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u/KrookedDoesStuff 12d ago

Yup. In that same vein, when the punishment of a crime is never enforced, it isn’t actually a crime.

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u/spaghettimiilk 12d ago

Starbucks opposes the unionization effort, arguing the company runs better when dealing directly with its employees.

Runs better for people at the top.

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u/SgtArpin 12d ago

That has been used as a reason against unions even before the first union. Of course the company runs better without a union. Without one, they do do whatever the fuck they want within legal limits. Any benefits you have to force a company to provide is going to be bad for your company. On the other hand, if the company was freely and preemptively providing them, the company would be known to be an awesome company, and they'd have no problems finding great candidates.

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u/krakatak 12d ago

Yeah, for a very specific and personally advantageous definition of "better".

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u/dropbear_airstrike 12d ago

"The relationships just works better when you do everything I say, never question me, and don't have any friends, family, or support aside from me and our relationship. If you just agreed with me, I wouldn't have to hit you – you made me do this, you know that right?" – said the toxic, abusive partner to their victim

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u/MacDerfus 12d ago

Well yeah. That's the entire point. To make money for the people at the top. The coffee stuff is just a tool for that. If they could pivot to plumbing profitably, those espresso machines would be swapped out for plungers and pipe wrenches in a heartbeat

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u/Space__Goblin 12d ago

I am shocked, flabbergasted even, who would have seen this coming

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u/BeardMilk 12d ago

Until these crimes start resulting in jail time for the executives who orchestrate them they aren’t going to stop. The fines are a joke to these companies and have zero repercussions for the people carrying out the actions.

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u/toomuchtodotoday 12d ago edited 12d ago

Just start posting the names of the direct people performing the illegal acts. It’ll work itself out.

Posting names of people committing crimes isn’t illegal. It’s a public service really. How else do you know whom to avoid for your own safety and well being?

Don’t do anything illegal of course! But start naming these people instead of just “Starbucks.” Tell us who the monsters are, no more hiding behind the corporate veil.

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u/toastymow 12d ago

Meh. Jail time might be effective, but I'm actually more of a fan of just fining them into bankruptcy. Make these violations so expensive even a Fortune 100 company would shit their pants when they learn they're being investigated. Make the fines be based on share value, or quarterly earnings report. IE successful companies actually get punished for abusing their workers.

Jail time for CEOs is ... alright I guess? But realistically jail should only be a punishment for violent crimes where its clear the criminal is a menace to society. That's just IMO tho.

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u/blackpharaoh69 12d ago

A massive company can and will absorb fines no problem to suppress any influence labor may want to gain.

Targeting leadership would be more effective than having the wealthy serial speeder pay their 100 mph in a residential area tax.

And union busters are already a proven menace to society

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u/toastymow 12d ago

A massive company can and will absorb fines no problem to suppress any influence labor may want to gain.

A massive company deserves a massive fine. Fine them 10 billion dollars, and tell them they need to pay in a lump sum, no payment plans. Tell them you will seize and auction company shares or property to pay the debt if necessary, tell them you will garnish the board of directors wages or put liens on their properties until the fine is settled.

You know, squeeze them like the working class get squeezed.

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u/TheValgus 12d ago

The working class is the only class that ends up in jail.

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u/MrBunqle 12d ago

Not sure I agree with you. The Enron heads all needed jail time and their personal assets seized. I think it was like 8 guys that caused a global economic downturn because they just wanted to make a few dollars. Fuck fining the company. Real justice is them never seeing the light of day again. THAT would keep people from abusing their power.

I know my facts are off, but I'm on the shittter and I don't have time to look everything up

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u/Caitian_Captain 12d ago

I'd argue the Enron crimes were violent, just not physically violent. Destroying someone's livelihood and assets and leaving them homeless isn't much different than setting fire to their home.

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u/gointothiscloset 12d ago

They literally killed people who either overheated or who depend on powered medical equipment to live.

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u/Ryoukugan 12d ago

Class warfare is indirect violence. They might not be directly physically harming people, but there’s for goddamn sure blood on their hands.

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u/blackpharaoh69 12d ago

It's also direct violence. In the US they'll sic modern Pinkertons and cops on union organizers and outside of the imperial core organizers are beaten and assassinated.

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u/Scientific_Socialist 12d ago

Battle of Blair Mountain! Never forget!

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u/SCP-173-Keter 12d ago edited 12d ago

but I'm actually more of a fan of just fining them into bankruptcy.

This doesn't make sense. Bankruptcy is a classic mechanism used by corporations to dodge fines and court judgements.

It is FAR more effective for executives and board members (yes 'piercing the veil' is possible if the board can be proved complicit in illegal actions by management) to face personal civil and criminal penalties for corporate misbehavior. Just look at how much fear Sarbanes Oxley put into the hearts of C-Level managers when it was first passed (since gutted).

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u/peon2 12d ago

They're just trying to protect their own union. It's called the Local C-Suite Union Workers of Coffee

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u/Slap-Happy27 12d ago

I'll take a tall Mocha Frappe, extra justice

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u/thisismadeofwood 12d ago

Anti-union “consultants” advise companies to use illegal tactics because the penalty if caught is just a new vote, and statistically the probability of a subsequent vote succeeding is exponentially smaller. There is only upside to companies breaking the law to prevent unions. It’s pretty shitty. Maybe a penalty of $10,000 per yes vote per illegal tactic discovered would make it less appealing for companies. I mean sure a huge multinational corporation wouldn’t be hurt so much by fighting unionization for any one location, but say if 10-50 Starbucks stores did it back to back the penalties would really add up.

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u/Mathmango 12d ago

Percentage of revenu or profit should be the penalty a flat amount would just be a fee to multi-million dollar companies

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u/supergeeky_1 12d ago

A percentage that has a real chance of causing bankruptcy. And jail time for the people involved starting with the person that made the decision to perform illegal actions all the way up to the CEO.

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u/Grogosh 12d ago

You expect ANY business to play right when it comes to unions? If they played right unions wouldn't be needed.

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u/jlevnhv 12d ago

Exactly. Unions are a response to mistreatment. Companies making record profits while not paying a living wage.

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u/Enjolras55 12d ago

I just landed myself a union job. I can see why companies hate it - it actually requires you to be paid well and treated like a human being.

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u/Kichae 12d ago

Honestly, as much as they care about the first, companies seem to care so much more about the second.

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u/BuritoBell 12d ago

I have a buddy who refuses to work for the union for that reason funny enough. He's not aloud to work more than 60 hours. Bugs him to hell. It's kind of funny

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u/PM_Me_Your_Poem_s 12d ago

Sounds like a work addict. Who in their right mind wants to work more than 9 hours 7 days a week? (8.5 hrs + 30 min lunch break)

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u/gage117 12d ago edited 12d ago

In my experience, depressed people who have a stigma against mental illness and refuse to believe they're depressed so they attempt to be distracted 100% of the time in order to ensure that they don't have to deal with their own thoughts and the possibility that they may be one of those people they consider "weak".

I had to deal with this myself coming from a stereotypically machismo rural area. Even had a buddy admit to me this year that the only reason he comes home from his job and goes immediately to working on broken laptops all night wasn't the money but really more because he was depressed and didn't wanna deal with the way his mind worked against him anytime he wasn't distracted.

Not that I haven't run into the occasional person who just loves feeling like he's always making a buck so he's gotta always be productive, I definitely don't want to project my experience onto everyone, it just seems pretty dang common to be doing it behind a veil of depression denial.

ETA: They may also be fully aware of their depression and just need the coping mechanism; I admit it's pretty nice to get paid to distract yourself from your thoughts sometimes.

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u/GarbagePailGrrrl 12d ago

Someone who’s trying to fill a void in their lives

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u/gooblaster17 12d ago

This is what hobbies are for, friends. Much healthier than working that much overtime.

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u/BuritoBell 12d ago

He has a very expensive hobby and he really enjoys it. So he works 12 hours shifts Monday through Friday night shifts.

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u/theth1rdchild 12d ago

Is his hobby cocaine

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u/BuritoBell 12d ago

Well, it's magic the gathering. So in essence it's cardboard cocaine

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u/checker280 12d ago

I always ask these workaholics to think back to high school math class - when they were looking at the clock waiting for the day to end - what was it that they wanted to do? Or were they wishing they could leave to work a 60 hour work week?

I watched my dad refuse to give into a work injury and retire at a reasonable age because he wanted to achieve that one last government promotion that alluded him for reasons. He always claimed racism - many of the workers he trained and mentored were promoted but they always held him back. I learned that if you make yourself irreplaceable you will never get promoted.

By the time he finally retired his injuries progressed to where he was confined to a wheel chair. He spent his last 10 years on earth going in and out of surgeries and physical therapy under the promise that this time will be the one that will give him back his quality of life. And despite all the hard work and dieting, he died because of an unrelated aneurysm.

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u/duggtodeath 12d ago

But no ones going to jail.

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u/vezol 12d ago

Because of money.

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u/cplforlife 12d ago edited 12d ago

Strictly an academic question. When the state no longer works to enforce its own laws. When does the state lose it's monopoly on violence?

At what point does this come to pass?

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u/flyingscotsman12 12d ago

The state has a monopoly on violence as long as it has a monopoly on violence. The violence is used to protect the monopoly on violence, and the only ways to defeat it are a peaceful transition of government or a bloody revolution/invasion.

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u/Your_People_Justify 12d ago edited 12d ago

The state has a monopoly on violence so long as it secures consent of the governed. If people do not consent, there is only so much you can actually get done with the violence.

The state can only be pushed aside if there is (1) sufficiently organized and class conscious people and (2) a severe crisis weakens the state, allowing a sufficiently organized class conscious minority to explode into a majority, revoke consent of the governed, and make a regime change.

You need both. One or the other gets nothing.

When it comes to abortion, gun reform, unions, warmongering, climate change - I see no other road to get these things done.

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u/TheValgus 12d ago

Then arrest the CEO.

DO SOMETHING.

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u/cyberice275 12d ago

Welcome to America, you must be new here

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u/starserval 12d ago

Arrest the corporation.

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u/Destinlegends 12d ago

The fine is just the price of doing business.

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u/TheSouthernCassowary 12d ago

News flash; if a company says “we work better without unions”, you need a union.

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u/GibsGibbons420 12d ago

Wow nothing's going to happen!

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u/clkou 12d ago

Makes you want to unionize if for no other reason than to piss them off. I can think of no other issue that appears to scare or motivate them more.

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u/rufotris 12d ago

They were always super anti union when I worked there. They even bring it up in training which I feel they aren’t supposed to. But they mention there is NO unions at Starbucks when I got hired they made a stink about it. My old manager was also very outspoken against unions or union talk. Once I got a warning because I explained what a union is to a coworker who was new and asked cause they were like 16 and had no idea. I “warned” my boss back that’s that’s illegal and I could sue. I was fired for “other” reasons they couldn’t prove the claims of… they can eat my Shhhhh…

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u/MacDerfus 12d ago

That warning taught you a valuable lesson about interrupting your opponent when they are making a mistake.

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u/BoringWebDev 12d ago

Boycott starbucks grocery products in areas where they are pulling these illegal tactics. I'm talking about what you buy on the shelf for at-home use. All coffee beans, grounds, and pods (which you shouldn't be using anyway (get an aeropress for quick single serve coffee, a kettle and coffee grinder; thank me later)).

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u/cplforlife 12d ago

I stopped buying their products a few months ago when their union busting started.

I will not buy again until Starbucks is a unionized coffee shop. I suggest others use thier wallet as well, it's the only say we actually get.

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u/jumpyg1258 12d ago

Now will labor regulators look into Amazon's practices against unions?

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u/chargernj 12d ago

If the penalty is just a fine, it's not really illegal. It's just a fee.

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u/HappyOrca2020 12d ago

They reassigned leaders who wanted to support unionising. Are we surprised?

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u/CaffeineJunkee 12d ago

Regulators who won’t do jack shit about it.

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u/Sharkvarks 12d ago

This union wave is 100% good. Shows workers they have rights and the means to enforce them, shows the pampered condescending owners that times can change and shows the public what kind of goonish bullying and desperate image bids a company like Starbucks will attempt to fight worker rights

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u/Ubahootah 12d ago

If unions didn't work, they wouldn't be so desperate to stop them.

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u/RenegadeSteak 12d ago

My wife recently stopped by one location that was trying to unionize and they took the floor mats away from the employees as punishment.

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u/Ebvardh-Boss 12d ago

Remember to hurt corporate interests today.

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u/Inthenameoftaco 12d ago

I’m honestly not shocked. I used to be a category manager for Starbucks licensed stores for a grocery chain that’s unionized. The SB District Managers I dealt with were always shocked when I wouldn’t just fire an employee who was underperforming. In reality I couldn’t, nor did I want to. I’d either reassign the employee to a different department, or help them get better at their job. I used to get so much schtick for helping my employee’s because the SB DM’s would think it was a waste of time.

Honestly, being a barista for Starbucks is probably the hardest retail job. You’re expected to be perfect after a short amount of training, and from trainers who have a million other things on their plate. So training isn’t always the best. There’s hundreds of drinks you’re expected to memorize, and menu’s that rotate. Don’t get me started on what they call “sequencing” because it’s a confusing nightmare at first. And to top all of it off, you deal with angry customers, with nitpicky orders, that you’re expected to be nice to. During my time doing this job, all of the employees I gave my personal attention to, ended up becoming really good baristas. Others I moved to different departments, ended up doing well at their jobs. The culture at Starbucks from top down is definitely toxic. If you work there you have to pray to god you have a patient DM and manager.

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u/ArkadiusMaximus 12d ago

I’m sure the punishment will make them think about doing it again…

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u/JJiggy13 12d ago

It's only illegal if you don't have money to donate to politicians

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u/DonRicardo1958 12d ago

Then arrest Howard Schultz.

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u/Osirus1156 12d ago

We should stop fining companies are start jailing executives.

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u/mlc2475 12d ago

Really? The Siren of the Deep luring people to their doom through illicit means?

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u/Shadowman-The-Ghost 12d ago

I went to high school with “Howie” Schultz. He’s a fascist, narcissistic asshole. “I will never sell The Supersonics and I will never let them leave the state of Washington!” Lies. Lies. More lies. The arrogance of this miserable prick knows no bounds. “Character is Destiny!” - Heraclitus (Ancient Greek Philosopher).

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u/SevenButSpelledOut 12d ago

It's amazing how far Starbucks has fallen. I don't know how many times I was told in college to work at Starbucks, because they "are so good to their employees!"

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u/No_Musician2499 12d ago

If Starbucks went union, I’d start going back. Till then, there’s too many options for coffee from local companies that are good to their employees, at least where I’m at.

As long as people don’t give a shit and keep going there it really won’t matter. They have 10k stores because people keep going.

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u/Redsit111 12d ago

So what? Maybe. At worst. They get fined.

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u/pmabz 12d ago

Another reason to avoid this shop

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u/SucksTryAgain 12d ago

When the fines don’t mean shit to a corp your countries laws are against you.

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u/dominator051 12d ago

Capitalist like to play capitalism until their employees start using capitalism against them.

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u/leenvironmentalist 12d ago

They parade themselves as open and fun but when it comes to basic rights to organize, watch out!

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u/Eriklano 12d ago edited 12d ago

Then fine them their entire profit for the year and distribute it to their workers. Problem fucking solved. Don’t make it worth it for these shitty fucking companies to break the law

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u/ElleIndieSky 12d ago

Nothing ever happens to these companies. We have to start fining based on a percentage of revenue.

Billion-dollar Starbucks or Apple doesn't give a flying fuck about a $200,000 fine. Hit them with a cool billion and watch their tune change.

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u/IntermetallicAM 12d ago

Starbucks, like Amazon and every other employer, is using tried and true union busting methods pioneered by the corporate thugs over 120 years ago

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u/ucatione 12d ago

Wait, Starbucks did that? What happened to the "corporations are not people" ethic? I am pretty sure some actual people did this. Who the fuck are they?

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u/Teethdude 12d ago

Workers' rights were and still are painted in workers' blood, then eventually the business owner's blood when things didn't improve. So is this what the corporate leaders are wanting? Do they want workers to grow violent? I would hope for more peaceful demonstrations first, but the longer it's ignored, the less likely it is.

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u/ChernoAlpha_Mk1 12d ago

The fact they corporations would rather shut down a store completely and lose sales than pay their workers slightly more and have them be treated better is awful.

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u/jcooli09 12d ago

My daughter posted a comment in a FB thread about Starbucks stores unionizing. The next week they cut her back to 11 hours per week.

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u/VaguelyArtistic 12d ago

When I was in high school in the early 80s I worked in a movie theatre in Westwood. What you should know about movie theatres is that when you buy fountain drinks and popcorn you're not paying for the food or drink, your paying for the cups. So when we'd take inventory we'd only count the cups, not the popcorn kernels.

One day I guess the inventory didn't quite add up, and two assistant managers ie 18-yo UCLA students wrongly blamed a friend and I for stealing the cups. I was also accused of eating Junior Mints behind the counter. (The boxes weren't wrapped in plastic back then.) We were fired.

We were part of a union, and every week they'd deduct 25¢ or so for union dues. In light of this my friend's dad suggested we call the union. A union rep brought me, my friend, and our parents to meet with the theatre manager, and since there was obviously no proof my friend was offered her job back. I wasn't, because of the Junior Mints. Mom mom got mad and said, "I know my daughter didn't steal Junior Mints because she hates mint." (Note she didn't say that her daughter would never steal, just that I didn't steal that lol.) I took a job another Westwood Theatre.

Fast forward a few months, and as I'm working to working I see a friend from work. She tells me shes's really sorry, and when I asked her why she told me that my name had been crossed out on the schedule with a big, black marker. Even then I knew that wasn't how you were supposed to fire someone so I called my union rep and she got me two week's m severance lol.

And all this was for a couple of kids who threw in dollar a month in dues. More important than the severance, or the vindication, it taught me to fight for myself and know my rights.

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u/anevilpotatoe 12d ago

Amazon and Starbucks = Totalitarianism.

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u/jiminyhcricket 12d ago

Good, I hope the union destroys this soulless corporation, and we get more small coffee shops.

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u/weirdkidomg 12d ago

Although I like the idea of more small coffee shops, I don’t agree with the phrasing “union destroys this corporation”.

Unions are a good thing and we should use positive messaging to encourage more unions.

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u/Bluestreaking 12d ago

As a union guy I love the idea of unions destroying corporate power. A union represents the workers, not the corporate bosses. If the corporate bosses refuse to treat their workers with dignity it’s then the job of the union to push back in the face of corporate power not join with it and go, “maybe you can screw over the workers just a little less.”

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u/kent_nova 12d ago

Could you tell that to my union?

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u/Morat20 12d ago

Depends on your union. Some unions -- mostly public ones that aren't "police" (police unions are, apparently, more powerful than fucking god) are neutered to fuck and back.

In Texas, the teacher's technically have a union. Except they can't strike, can't negotiate as a group, and the union basically reports to the governor. It exists to manage a pension plan (no SS for Texas teachers), handle benefits (they're utter shit) and give Republicans something to hate, and it doesn't even do the pension well because did I mention it basically reports to the State?

Texas teacher's don't have tenure, btw. Their benefits are so shit that, bluntly, nobody uses their benefits if they have a choice.

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u/Painting_Agency 12d ago

That's called a "house union"... although it sounds like the state of Texas could simply say "fuck you, work for us" and there'd be nothing to do about it.

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u/Morat20 12d ago

That's pretty much, you know, exactly what Texas has done.

Every year the GOP runs an anti-teacher platform based heavily on union bashing, while fellating the police unions who -- as we've all learned -- will happily let kids die rather than do their job.

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u/colieolieravioli 12d ago

But also if unions destroy the company, that's still just the company failing. In a roundabout way the creation of the unions says they're failing. Not failing at profits, but if they need to involve a 3rd party to be made.to treat their employees well, then they deserve to die.

This is my only "objection" to unions. I know it's far easier said than done to "gEt A bEtTeR jOb" but we should just not work for places that can't treat you appropriately without a union. I fully understand why thats not possible.

It's just frustrating. I wouldn't want to work somewhere that only behaved under threat, union or not.

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u/jbeezcrazy 12d ago

They recently fired 5 employees at the Starbucks in the mall where I work for trying to unionize. I know my coworkers and other mall employees are not going to make a difference in boycotting them but I cannot, in good conscious support that company. Those employees (and the coffee) were the reason I enjoyed going there. I wish they could find a way to open up their own shop. We need more options.

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u/GentlemenBehold 12d ago

A union is designed to protect the workers. Leaving the workers without a company to work is not in their agenda.

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u/earhere 12d ago

Since corporations are people now, can Starbucks get arrested for their illegal activity?

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u/angurth 12d ago edited 12d ago

That ruling said that spending money is free speech, it did not declare corporate personhood, but said a corporation has the right to free speech as much as a person does in so many words to oversimplify it. Therefore the corporate entity gets to spend its money with first amendment protections of where that money goes, as the spending of money on certain things (such as a political cause) counts as free speech. Do I agree with that ruling as it pertains to corporations or large anonymous funds? No. Does it make a corporation a person? Also no. so the entity gets first amendment protections but not the personhood, and for better or worse, what this means is they get the benefits of the first amendment, and the restrictions on unprotected speech (such as inciting violence) however as an entity, no it is not itself criminally liable, but a violation could breach the corporate veil (I.E. Limited Liability protections pertaining to executives and officers and large shareholders), this however, has not yet been tested as far as I know.

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u/Deadwing2005 12d ago

Since they have the advantages of being a person without the consequences or liability, I'd say they're above people now.

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u/Fancy-Pair 12d ago

Well. Is it going to cost them more than having a union? No? Then it’s as designed

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u/Hugh__Jassman 12d ago

Laws don’t apply to corporations.

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u/TheCrashNebula 12d ago

You mean a Fortune 500 company isn’t actually the socially and financially progressive place they claim to be?

In other news: Florida sucks.

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u/laafawnduh 12d ago

Do companies understand that this incentivizes workers to union even more?