Starbucks stock was slightly up on Thursday trading, as a complaint from the US Labor Board says that Starbucks Corp. did not negotiate in the right way with 21 recently unionized cafes in Oregon and Washington.
In places like Portland and Seattle, where the coffee giant is based, Starbucks “has been failing and refusing to negotiate collectively,” according to a document filed on Tuesday by the general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board.
Regional directors from all over the country have filed scores of complaints alleging that Starbucks has utilized illegal strategies to undermine the union, Starbucks Workers United, including intimidation and retaliation. Starbucks is accused for the first time by agency prosecutors of failing to bargain equitably across multiple outlets in the latest charge. In other complaints that are still being looked into, the union says that the company is using unfair bargaining tactics.
Starbucks thinks that by the end of the year, it will have taken part in over 75 negotiations at US stores. Rachel Wall, a spokesperson, said, “We’ve always come to the table ready to bargain in good faith, and we keep asking Workers United to keep their promises to our partners by moving the bargaining process forward.”
The company has said many times that it follows the law and that any claims that it acts against unions are 100% false. Additionally, it has complained about the union’s alleged failure to negotiate its own pending claims with the Labor Board.
According to the new complaint, Starbucks should have to negotiate with the union often and hold a meeting with interim CEO Howard Schultz, union and government representatives, and employees where a notice about workers’ rights is read.
The complaints from the NLRB’s regional directors are looked at by agency judges, whose decisions can then be challenged in federal court by labor board members in Washington, DC. Last month, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) said that Starbucks in Seattle was wrongly refusing to talk to the union about working conditions. The corporation announced it would appeal the judgment.
Michelle Eisen, a Starbucks Workers United organizer from New York, said in a statement on Wednesday that the complaint “proves what workers have been saying all along: Starbucks is dragging its feet and the negotiating table and refusing to bargain with us in good faith.”
Over the past year, elections at about 270 of the business’s 9,000 corporately owned US cafés have been won by the union. But none of these places have yet reached a deal with the company on a collective bargaining agreement. To put more pressure on the corporation to negotiate, employees at about 100 locations went on strike earlier this month.
Starbucks Stock Outlook
Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) finished at $98.60 in the most recent trading session, moving down 0.6% from the previous day. This shift was smaller than the S&P 500’s daily loss of 1.2%. The Nasdaq, an index heavily weighted in technology, dropped 2.86%, and the Dow lost 1.1%.
As of today, the coffee chain’s shares had increased 0.55% over the previous month, outperforming the S&P 500’s decline of 4.77% and the Retail-Wholesale sector’s loss of 4.45%.
As the deadline for Starbucks’ next earnings report approaches, Wall Street will be watching for signs of optimism. Analysts predict that Starbucks will announce earnings of $0.76 per share in that report. This would represent a 5.56% increase over last year. According to the Zacks Consensus Estimate for revenue, net sales will total $8.79 billion, an increase of 9.19% from the same period last year.
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