OVERLAND PARK, Mo .— Starbucks employees from across the KC metro stand by two Overland Park location workers who say they were wrongfully fired while the store was attempting to unionize.
“Across the board, Starbucks is doing some heinous union-busting, firing workers all across the country,” Starbucks employee Josh Cromwell said.
Employees at Starbucks on 75th and I-35 recently celebrated a 6-1 vote in favor of unionizing in April.
However, employees say during the process to unionize, multiple employees were let go.
Those employees have accused the company of retaliation for trying to unionize.
According to “Workers United,” a formal complaint has been issued against Starbucks with the “National Labor Relations Board,” which is the federal agency responsible for investigating misconduct during union organizing drives.
“We believe, the union believes it was an unfair firing and the Labor Board believes it is an unfair firing. They have a hearing coming up in July, particularly around these firings saying that the Labor Board feels that there’s merit that these firings were illegal and we are taking Starbucks to court to get these workers reinstated,” Cromwell said.
After speaking with a Starbucks representative who says any claims of retaliation are false, they also stated:
“We are listening and learning from the partners in these stores as we always do across the country. From the beginning, we’ve been clear in our belief that we are better together as partners, without a union between us, and that conviction has not changed.”
Starbucks would not comment on the individuals fired at its 75th and I-35 Overland Park branch.
Starbucks employee Skylar Mickey says since several are Starbucks have attempted to unionize, she feels Starbucks has held benefits over their heads by cutting hours.
“Our workers rights are being taken away from us as Starbucks is fighting back with us very viciously with their union-busting tactics,” Mickey said.
The store Mickey works at in Independence is unionized and it’s one of only a handful that are unionized in the metro.
“I think it’s more important than ever to fight for livable wages, to fight for the benefits we deserve, for working and to fight for everything we deserve as workers at Starbucks.”
Starbucks employees at the rally say they will continue to fight for better working conditions, benefits and livable wages.
“There are often times drinks with customizations cost more than what we make an hour. The starting wage at Starbucks, at least at my store is $12 an hour, which is not a livable wage in Missouri or any other state,” Mickey said.
“When enough of us stand together and point in the same direction, that’s where change happens,” Cromwell said.
The hearig over those complaints to the National Labor Relations Boards is scheduled for July 5.