BUFFALO, N.Y. — A petition to decertify the Starbucks Workers United Union has now been dismissed by the National Labor Relations Board.
In December 2021, the first Starbucks store, located on Elmwood Avenue, unionized in Buffalo. Soon after in April 2022, the Delaware-Chippewa Starbucks location unionized. In April 2023, a petition to decertify the union at that store was filed.
Mark Mix, president of the National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation, said baristas in other states like Georgia have expressed dissatisfaction with the state of the union’s contracts.
“At Starbucks, there’s been this growing story about workers that basically voted over 12 months ago for unions and decided that it’s not really what it was cut out to be or what it was sold to be,” Mix said.
He said it is possible employees have paid into a union that has not negotiated a contract.
On May 25, NLRB Regional Director Linda Leslie dismissed the petition citing complaints that allege Starbucks has yet to bargain in good faith with the union nationally.
Starbucks Workers United Union said in a statement:
As we expected, the decertification petition at the Del Chip store was dismissed by the NLRB Regional Office, because of Starbucks' numerous violations of its duty to bargain in good faith with our union nationally.
The NLRB office dismissed the petition based on the pending national Unfair Labor Practice case, which alleges the company failed to schedule bargaining sessions, failed to turn over information necessary for bargaining, refused to bargain when the Union had remote participants, and engaged in surface bargaining at the first two unionized stores, all in violation of its legal obligations.
We expect all future decertification petitions to be dismissed in the same way, until Starbucks stops breaking the law and meets workers at the table in earnest.
A petition to decertify a store in Rochester is still open.
In 2022, 311 decertification petitions were filed, 137 of them went to vote. Of those, 93 unions were decertified. Twenty-four petitions altogether were dismissed last year.