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Supreme Court Backs Starbucks Over Union Action


The U.S. Supreme Court sided with Starbucks in a recent case wherein the coffee chain challenged a judicial order to rehire seven employees fired while seeking to unionize, reports Reuters. The ruling could make it more difficult for courts to halt unfair labor practices under federal law, according to the report.

The justices dismissed a lower court’s approval of an injunction spearheaded by the U.S. National Labor Relations Board that demanded the coffee retailer reinstate the workers. They argued that lower courts had used an improper legal standard to issue the preliminary injunction.

In the case, the employees reportedly let local journalists into a closed Starbucks store to engage in interviews about unionization efforts. The coffee chain said the workers were fired for admitting journalists into the store which violated several company policies.

Many additional complaints have been filed with the NLRB which accuse Starbucks of unlawful labor practices, including firing union supporters and closing stores during labor campaigns, according to the report. Starbucks has denied wrongdoing, noting that it respects workers’ right to choose unionization.

After Starbucks agreed to a U.S. union organizing framework in February, the chain said it intended to finalize contracts with union-represented stores this year.

"Consistent federal standards are important in ensuring that employees know their rights and consistent labor practices are upheld no matter where in the country they work and live," the company said in a statement. Full Story