News :: Labor & Class
Starbucks Fires Michigan Barista for Union Activity
Grand Rapids firing comes in the midst of Unfair Labor Practice charges being investigated by the NLRB against Starbucks.
Grand Rapids, MI (06/06/2008)- Starbucks terminated a barista active in the IWW Starbucks Workers Union today as part of its ongoing effort to combat a growing movement of employees pushing for a living wage and secure work hours. The barista, Cole Dorsey, was fired after two years of service while he was coordinating a union recruitment drive at Starbucks stores in Grand Rapids. Starbucks' pretext for the illegal anti-union firing was that Dorsey was guilty of some months-old attendance infractions.
"Today I joined the growing number of baristas that Starbucks has fired in its relentless union-busting campaign," said Cole Dorsey. "Starbucks' disrespect for the right to join a union is appalling and absolutely will not stop our efforts to have a voice at work."
The firing comes as a National Labor Relations Board judge is set to rule after a lengthy trial on the retaliatory terminations of three New York City baristas. Even before the firing, the NLRB was investigating whether Starbucks violated a settlement agreement entered into in Grand Rapids over anti-union discrimination. In 2006, Starbucks was forced to re hire two union baristas who had been unlawfully fired for union activity. This latest firing in Grand Rapids signals that reinstalled CEO Howard Schultz will not modify the company's practice of terminating outspoken union baristas to intimidate workers from joining up.
This firing in Grand Rapids is the same tactic Starbucks employed against a union member in Sevilla, Spain. On April 24, Monica was fired from a Starbucks in Sevilla for her activity on behalf of the Confederacion Nacional de Trabajadores (CNT).
In response the CNT in Sevilla, along with the Starbucks Union in Grand Rapids, have announced a Global Day of Action set for July 5. Workers, students, and concerned citizens around the world will be confronting the global coffee giant on that day demanding an end to Starbucks union-busting policies.
DEMAND STARBUCKS REINSTATE COLE DORSEY IN GRAND RAPIDS!
DEMAND STARBUCKS STOP UNION-BUSTING!
PARTICIPATE IN THE JULY 5TH GLOBAL DAY OF ACTION!
Contact Grand Rapids Management:
Tom Belanger District Manager - 616-826-9386
Nate Bailey Store Manager - 616-633-7780