Two stories about union activity this morning:
• The Seattle Times reports that the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has ruled that "Starbucks broke the law in handling labor issues at a now-shuttered Starbucks store on Capitol Hill.
"Starbucks violated fair labor practices by telling an employee they couldn’t testify at an NLRB hearing without securing shifts and by prohibiting union activities during company-paid breaks, according to the National Labor Relations Board ruling … Employees of the store at Broadway East and Denny Way were the first in Seattle to unionize in December 2021, and the votes were certified about three months later. Last December, Starbucks closed the store citing safety concerns. The store employees reached a contract with the company before it permanently closed.
"According to the NLRB ruling, the board subpoenaed barista Rachel Ybarra to testify after Starbucks contested the union elections. A manager threatened to discipline Ybarra if they attended the hearing without finding coverage for their shift. Ybarra uses they/them pronouns."
Starbucks says it disagrees with the ruling and is "exploring opportunities for further legal review."
The Times writes that "the board issued Starbucks a cease-and-desist order. It also required the coffee giant to post a notice to employees at the store and provide the NLRB’s regional director a certification of compliance within 21 days. Since the store is closed, Starbucks will have to mail a copy of the notice to workers employed there since Jan. 14, 2022."
• The Associated Press reports that "Apple illegally subjected employees to 'coercive' interviews and interfered with the distribution of union leaflets at a New York City Apple Store, a U.S. labor board judge ruled Tuesday.
"The finding represents the first time that an administrative law judge at the National Labor Relations Board, a federal agency, has ruled against Apple. But it is not the last word on the subject; Apple is free to appeal the ruling to the agency’s full board or to federal appeals court.
"Apple had no comment on the ruling Wednesday … The ruling requires Apple to 'cease and desist' from activities that the judge found to violate established labor protections and to post workplace notices in the company’s name acknowledging the court’s findings, informing employees of their labor rights and pledging that the company will honor them."