Supreme Court Appears to Side With Starbucks in Fight Over Fired Employees

US Supreme Court justices appear to agree with Starbucks in its challenge to a judicial order requiring it to rehire seven employees at a Tennessee cafe who were fired as they pursued unionization efforts. The case centers on the legal standard that federal courts must use to issue a preliminary injunction requested by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) under the National Labor Relations Act. Starbucks contends that if the lower courts had applied stricter criteria, the case would have come out differently.

Some justices appeared to agree that courts should have the primary role in determining a “likelihood of success” in the case before issuing an injunction. The conservative justice Neil Gorsuch told the justice department lawyer Austin Raynor, who was defending the injunction against Starbucks, that other federal agencies are subject to the stricter standard. The NLRB seeks this kind of injunction only in “the cream-of-the-crop cases,” which the board receives 20,000 unfair labor charges every year and issues 750 complaints.

About 400 Starbucks locations in the United States have unionized, involving more than 10,000 employees. Both sides at times have accused the other of unlawful or improper conduct. Hundreds of complaints have been filed with the NLRB accusing Starbucks of unlawful labor practices such as firing union supporters, spying on workers, and closing stores during labor campaigns. Starbucks has denied wrongdoing and said it respects the right of workers to choose whether to unionize.

In February, both sides agreed to create a “framework” to guide organizing and collective bargaining and potentially settle scores of pending legal disputes. The case began in 2022 when workers at the Poplar Avenue store in Memphis became among the first to unionize.

Read More @ The Guardian

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