Employees, union reps rally during first day of Starbucks trial

A small group of Starbucks employees, union representatives and elected officials rallied in front of the William S. Moorhead Federal Building Monday for day one of a trial.

They gathered to show support for the four workers in Pittsburgh who were trying to organize unions at their Starbucks and have gone to trial to get their jobs back.

“We have almost 200 fired union leaders nationwide at this point,” said Victoria Conklin of Buffalo, N.Y.

It was last April when the Bloomfield location became the first unionized Starbucks in Pennsylvania. The coffee giant has resisted union efforts nationwide.

“We’ve seen that they retaliated by not only tormenting us at the workplace, but firing us which causes us to lose our income, our benefits causes housing and food insecurity,” Conklin said.

In a complaint by the National Labor Relations Board, it accuses Starbucks of interfering with, restraining and coercing employees seeking to unionize.

The trial is expected to last two weeks with a judges decision after that.

Workers are still are still hopeful that Starbucks will sit down with unionized stores and negotiate a contract in good faith.

11 News reached out to Starbucks for comment. They offered the following statement:

“We disagree with the merits of the Complaint and maintain that actions taken at our Pittsburgh area stores were in full compliance with the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). We look forward to a full legal review of the matter as we work to side-by-side with our partners to reinvent our company for the future.”


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