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Starbucks hails judge’s ruling in union case

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Starbucks on Thursday praised a federal judge’s decision to not reinstate three former employees of the company who said that they had lost their positions for helping to form a labor union within their restaurant.

In a Phoenix U.S. district court on Wednesday, Judge John Tuchi struck down the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) request to reinstate the three former employees, citing there were inconsistencies and a lack of validity in the NLRB’s claims.

Former Phoenix-based Starbucks employees Tyler Gillette, Laila Dalton and Alyssa Sanchez were at the center of the lawsuit.

“For all of those reasons and in sum, there is not sufficient evidence to support the Regional Director’s unfair labor practice charge against Starbucks, thus the Regional Director, the Court finds is not likely to succeed on the merits with regard to these complaints,” Tuchi said in his ruling. “The Court will deny the injunctive relief requested and it will dismiss the petition.” 

In a statement to The Hill on Thursday, a Starbucks spokesperson said the company applauded the court’s decision on the matter.

“The ruling by the judge today is further evidence that any claims of anti-union activity are categorically false,” Starbucks said in a statement to The Hill on Thursday, “We respect our partners right to organize, and at the same time we continue to support our local leaders decisions grounded in our Mission and Value.”

The ruling comes as several Starbucks stores in the U.S. have seen workers form unions in the past few months, with employees citing struggles to make a living wage, work conditions and deteriorating trust with management as reasons why they formed their labor groups.

In a statement, Workers United, the union that represents Starbucks employees, said that the latest ruling doesn’t affect them at all, adding that they will push forward with their movement. 

“Today’s ruling of the Federal Judge regarding our Phoenix workers does not in any way stop what we’re doing. We will continue to fight for workers rights by organizing and mobilizing on the ground,” a union spokesperson told The Hill, adding that the organization is proud of the work the Phoenix-based Starbucks employees have done. 

“Personally I am very proud of Laila, Alyssa and Tyler who took on Starbucks and continue to take on Starbucks for its unfair treatment of workers. So while today is a disappointment for us it is by no means the end,” the spokesperson added. “This is just the beginning and a continuation of our movement. We have sent a message to Starbucks that we will stand up for our workers.”

Tags Arizona court ruling Labor relations labor unions Labor unions National Labor Relations Board Phoenix starbucks Starbucks Starbucks Workers United
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