Latest in our ongoing exchange with Workers United President Lynne Fox

Sharing our latest response in an ongoing exchange with Workers United President Lynne Fox, as part of our ongoing commitment to bargain in good faith.

Last week, as part of an ongoing exchange, Starbucks sent a letter to Workers United President Lynne Fox on a variety of topics, including:

  • The union’s continued delay of bargaining.
  • Continued action by Workers United representatives to unlawfully broadcast bargaining sessions to persons not in the room.
  • Workers United’s lack of commitment to agreed upon in-person bargaining.
  • The union’s requests for a cookie-cutter national contract.
  • A letter we received from a so-called “Workers United national bargaining committee.”

Outlined below is a brief summary of our responses on each topic.

Delay of bargaining

Workers United has continually taken actions that have been responsible for the inability to move forward with bargaining. This misconduct has persisted in more recent weeks and is now the subject of more than 40 unfair labor practice charges that are pending resolution by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).

Unlawful broadcasts of bargaining sessions

We’ve come to the table prepared to bargain in good faith only to be met with Workers United representatives who chose to insist on broadcasting the sessions to unknown individuals not in the room and, in at least one instance, posted a recording of the session online. These actions are despite assurances from Workers United that nobody will “electronically record the negotiations, or make any recording of Starbucks representatives at the bargaining table.” 

The NLRB prohibits any party from requiring recordings or transcripts of contract negotiations because such actions “inhibit the free and open discussion necessary for conducting successful bargaining.” Posting bargaining online indeed is the creation of a “transcript” of proceedings and neither party can control whether the audience outside the room viewing the broadcast will choose to record the proceedings. 

Lack of commitment to agreed upon in-person bargaining

Starbucks partners physically go to their Starbucks store every day they work. Workers United representatives should have a sufficient commitment to the bargaining process to do the same thing. Bargaining involves important issues, and Starbucks partners whose interests are at stake are equally important.

Request for a cookie-cutter national contract

At every Starbucks store where Workers United has representation rights, Workers United insisted on treating each separate store as a distinct bargaining unit. Despite that, Workers United has repeatedly advocated for a cookie-cutter “first contract” that would be national in nature. This request flies in the face of the commitment Workers United gave our partners that their interests would be the subject to negotiations specific to each single store location. 

Letter from so-called “Workers United National Bargaining Committee”

As insisted by Workers United, the NLRB designated Workers United as the “exclusive” representative of partners on a store-by-store basis. Therefore, the law prevents us from negotiating with any other individuals including those who refer to themselves as members of the “Starbucks Workers United National Bargaining Committee.” Moreover, neither Workers United nor any other group have have representation rights that are “national” in scope. Thus, we have informed Workers United President Lynne Fox about this letter and that it would be inappropriate for Starbucks to have exchanges with this group.

Read previous exchanges