[Marxism] A Holiday Gift for the IWW

Greg McDonald sabocat59 at mac.com
Tue Dec 23 15:38:22 MST 2008

Starbucks Workers Union (Industrial Workers of the World)

Contact: StarbucksUnion (at) yahoo.com

Judge Finds Starbucks Guilty of Extensive Union-Busting

The IWW Scores Big Victory Over Global Coffee Chain

New York, NY (Dec. 23, 2008)- Following a lengthy trial here last  
year, a National Labor Relations Board judge has found Starbucks  
guilty of extensive violations of federal labor law in its bid to  
counter the IWW Starbucks Workers Union.  In an 88-page decision,  
Judge Mindy E. Landow found, among other things, that Starbucks  
maintained multiple policies which interfered with workers' right to  
communicate about the union and about working conditions; terminated  
three workers in retaliation for union activity; and repeatedly  
discriminated against union supporters.  The decision comes despite a  
2006 New York settlement in which Starbucks pledged to stop illegal  
anti-union activities and mirrors federal government action against  
the company for its conduct toward baristas in Minnesota and Michigan.

"The judge's decision coupled with previous government findings  
expose Starbucks for what it is --- a union-busting corporation that  
will go to staggering lengths to interfere with the right to freedom  
of association," said Daniel Gross, a barista and member of the IWW  
Starbucks Workers Union found to have been unlawfully terminated by  
the coffee giant.  "In these trying economic times of mass layoffs  
and slashed work hours, it's more important than ever that Starbucks  
and every corporation is confronted with a social movement that  
insists on the right to an independent voice on the job."

The Board decision is the latest blow against a company that has  
experienced a stunning fall from grace.  From a precipitous decrease  
in customer demand to its increasingly tattered socially responsible  
image, the myriad of challenges facing Starbucks has resulted in the  
company losing over half its value from just a year ago.  The  
decision also represents a significant victory for the IWW Starbucks  
Workers Union which continues to grow across the country with  
baristas taking creative and determined actions to improve the  
security of works hours and win respect on the job.  Starbucks faces  
another Labor Board trial next month in Grand Rapids, Michigan over  
illegal union-busting.

"For the first time, a judge has confirmed the existence of a  
nationally coordinated anti-union operation at Starbucks," said  
Stuart Lichten, the attorney for the IWW Starbucks Workers Union in  
the case.  "This decision conclusively establishes Starbucks'  
animosity toward labor organizing."

The union is confident that Judge Landow's copiously documented and  
well-reasoned 88-page decision will be upheld by the National Labor  
Relations Board in Washington, D.C. should Starbucks appeal.  The  
victory is sure to be gratifying for the union's international  
supporters who conducted spirited global days of action in defense of  
Isis Saenz, Joe Agins, Jr., and Daniel Gross after their terminations  
which the Board has now found to be unlawful.

The National Labor Relations Board attorneys on the case were Burt  
Pearlstone and Audrey Eveillard.  The union's attorney Stuart Lichten  
is a partner at Schwartz, Licthen & Bright, a prominent New York City  
labor law firm.  Starbucks was represented by union-avoidance lawyers  
Daniel Nash, Stacey Eisenstein, and Nicole Morgan at corporate firm  
Akin Gump.

The IWW Starbucks Workers Union (StarbucksUnion.org) is an  
organization of almost 300 current and former Starbucks employees  
united for a living wage, secure work hours, and respect on the job.   
Founded in 2004, the union uses direct action, litigation, and  
advocacy to both make systemic improvements at Starbucks and take on  
the company over unfair treatment of individual baristas.

The Industrial Workers of the World (iww.org) is a rank and file  
labor union dedicated to democracy in the workplace and global  

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