Amid Starbucks’ vicious union-busting campaign, which has involved the firing of at least 70 pro-union workers—more than 50 of them since April, in what’s clearly an escalating effort—the company tried to convince the National Labor Relations Board that union activists in Phoenix, Arizona, violated labor law by “threatening and coercing employees and the public.” Starbucks claimed workers surrounded a store and pounded on the windows during an action. The NLRB investigated and found that no such thing happened. (And since there were news cameras there for the protest, there’s an actual video of the peaceful picket.)
Meanwhile, Starbucks continues announcing pay raises and new benefits only to workers at stores that have not unionized—a practice that NLRB general counsel Jennifer Abruzzo told Steven Greenhouse was (in principle, without naming Starbucks) is an unfair labor practice, “unlawful, absent compelling business justification.”
Starbucks management is absolutely committed to fighting its workers, often in direct violation of the law. But so far, at least, its lawlessness and cruelty has not stopped the momentum of its workers coming together to form unions.