US labor unions have lodged a complaint with the International Labour Organization (ILO) alleging that Starbucks has violated the rights of baristas organizing at the coffee chain’s cafes.
The filing to the UN workers’ rights watchdog in Geneva, asks the ILO to investigate whether gaps in US law have allowed the alleged Starbucks labor violations to happen. Critics say the company’s firing of activists and closing of unionized stores contravene ILO principles, which Starbucks explicitly agreed to follow in its 2020 Global Human Rights Statement.
Since late 2021, employees at over 300 US corporate-owned Starbucks locations have voted to unionize, but none have yet struck a deal for working conditions and wages. The company denies retaliating against organizers and maintains it respects workers’ rights to organize but prefers direct relations with employees.
The complaint from the Service Employees International Union, its affiliate Workers United, and the AFL-CIO claims the US lacks speedy ways to decide labor disputes as required under ILO standards, allowing Starbucks to exploit “excessive delays to frustrate organizing and bargaining rights.” The filing requests an “on-the-spot mission” to interview Starbucks management, workers, union staffers, and government officials.
If you or someone you know is facing labor issues, such as violations of workers’ rights or unfair treatment in the workplace, it’s essential to seek legal assistance. Labor Law Advocates in California is dedicated to helping employees in all industries, from fast food to tech, receive fair treatment and compensation. Contact us today to discuss your case and learn more about your rights as an employee.