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Buffalo Starbucks location files to decertify from the union

Buffalo was the spark that started a union movement across Starbucks locations nationwide. Now one of the stores wants to dissolve the union.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — In recent years, Buffalo has been the center of a renewed pro-union spirit nationwide. 

In 2021, several Buffalo Starbucks locations voted to form a union, through Workers United. That led to hundreds of Starbucks locations filing to form unions across the United States. 

Now the Starbucks located at the corner of Delaware Avenue and Chippewa in downtown Buffalo is looking to decertify from the union all together. 

A representative from the downtown Starbucks filed an "RD Petition" with the National Labor Relations Board on April 28. The petition does not give a reason why members of the store want to decertify and dissolve the union. 

A spokesperson for Workers United, the union that represents Starbucks employees, says the situation is classic union-busting tactics by the coffee conglomerate. 

Workers United provided the following statement:

"The Del-Chip decertification was caused by Starbucks' illegal union-busting campaign, plain and simple. There is no question that this store was particularly hit hard as the café that high-level Starbucks executives visited on a daily basis at the start of our campaign and has been a target of Starbucks' vicious attacks on workers since. 

Almost every union leader at the store was fired or forced out because of the environment of intimidation and fear that Starbucks management created. In fact, the company is currently being prosecuted for the discriminatory treatment of workers at the Del-Chip store. In late March, an administrative law Judge found that Starbucks committed “egregious and widespread” violations of federal labor law, including illegally threatening, intimidating, surveilling and firing workers, and illegally closing stores. 

Based on this very clear foundation of the company's aggressive and deliberate attempts to crush workplace democracy, we expect the petition to be dismissed and workers will continue fighting for justice. When Starbucks loses an election, they should learn to respect democracy, not trample it.

A spokesperson for Starbucks told 2 On Your Side they want to ensure their partners can trust their voices are heard. 

"We are committed to engaging in good faith collective bargaining for each store where a union has been appropriately certified. To date, Starbucks has proposed more than 400 single-store bargaining sessions and has appeared in-person and ready to bargain at more than 90 sets of negotiations. Unfortunately, Workers United has only confirmed 24% of the bargaining sessions proposed by the company."

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