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Starbucks must reinstate Colorado baristas "illegally" fired, National Labor Relations Board rules

Posted at 8:45 PM, Feb 08, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-08 22:45:51-05

Starbucks must reinstate two Colorado baristas who were "illegally" fired, a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) judge ruled.

The workers supported forming a union at the Colorado Starbucks stores where they worked, according to a news release from Starbucks Workers United.

Ryan Dinaro was fired from the Tremont Starbucks location in Denver, and Joseph Mathis was let go from the Academy store in Colorado Springs, the union's news release said.

Starbucks engaged in "objectionable conduct warranting setting aside the results" of a union vote at the Colorado Springs store, the union quoted from the NLRB ruling in its news release.

The judge ruled Starbucks must conduct a new election and give both employees their jobs back, as well as back pay and compensation for other expenses related to their unlawful termination, according to Starbucks Workers United.

There was a similar ruling made last year for a worker fired at a Superior Starbucks.

Superior Starbucks employee to be reinstated

“I am planning to return to Starbucks to fight for a contract because my coworkers deserve better,” Dinaro said in the union's news release. “They deserve stable hours so they can consistently keep healthcare and tuition. They deserve safety committees to remind management that attempted robbery, menacing, and assault on property is not normal, and security upgrades are desperately needed. They deserve a standard pay raise schedule so they don't need to beg management.”

The NLRB also ordered the company to post a notice of workers' rights granted under federal law in the Tremont and Academy stores in Colorado, the news release said.

This judgment is part of a nationwide movement to unionize Starbucks stores in the U.S. with over 9,000 company employees involved, Starbucks Workers United said. Thousands of employees walked off the job last year, demanding better staffing and wages.

"We remain committed to better communicating with unions elected to represent our partners and are pursuing a path forward that would allow us to resume productive contract negotiations for our represented U.S. partners," Starbucks spokesperson Andrew Trull said in a statement from the company.

Starbucks said it reached out to Workers United President Lynne Fox in December of 2023 to move negotiations forward between the union and stores to finalize contracts for employees that both sides agreed to.

The company has also allocated a dedicated labor relations team to address the unionizing workers, Starbucks said in its statement.