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Behind The Billionaire-Led Plot To Undermine The Starbucks Union

We uncovered an illegal scheme to crush union workers.

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In August 2021, a few Starbucks workers in Buffalo formed Starbucks Workers United. The union has now organized more than 350 stores and represents over 5,000 workers.

But Starbucks has refused to come to the table and negotiate in good faith with those workers.

More Perfect Union just learned that a billionaire-funded, right-wing group is doing Starbucks’ dirty work to try to crush the union from the inside with what’s known as a decertification campaign.

One year after a union election is certified, the National Labor Relations Board accepts petitions for decertification. This is supposed to give workers and corporations a year to bargain in good faith but instead it gives corporations a playbook: Stall negotiations for a year, then partner with a shady union-busting group to discredit the union by pointing to the lack of negotiations.

So who is the shady right-wing group pushing Starbucks decertification? They’re called the National Right To Work Foundation — a dark money group that goes all out to convince workers to abandon their union. They get funding from a who’s who of plutocrats: the Kochs and Walton families, Dick Uihlein and Rebekah Mercer. The foundation has a $10 million annual budget aimed at busting solidarity.

The NLRB has already rejected decertification efforts on the basis that Starbucks has refused to negotiate. But with 350 stores already voting union, there are more on the way. This is all a stalling tactic. The workers have been clear, and the law is clear. It’s time for Starbucks to come to the table and strike a fair contract.

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