Utah Starbucks workers join other stores by filing decertification petition to remove “Workers United”
Cottonwood Heights, UT (July 27, 2023) – Employees at the Cottonwood Heights Starbucks in Utah have just submitted a petition to the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), asking the federal agency to hold a vote to end the Chicago and Midwest Joint Regional Board Workers United/SEIU, also known as Starbucks Workers United (SBWU), officials’ monopoly “representation” powers at their workplace. Indya Fiessinger, who filed the petition on behalf of a group of her coworkers, is receiving free legal representation from National Right to Work Foundation staff attorneys.
With the petition filed, the NLRB should now promptly schedule a secret ballot election to determine whether a majority of workers want to end union officials’ power to impose a contract on the workers.
Utah is a Right to Work state meaning union payments must be voluntary and cannot be required as a condition of employment. However, under federal law, SBWU officials’ monopoly bargaining powers still allow them to impose a union contract on all employees at the store, even those who are not union members and who oppose SBWU’s so-called “representation.” A successful decertification vote would strip union officials of that extraordinary monopoly bargaining power.
The Cottonwood Heights Starbucks workers are the latest group of Starbucks workers seeking to exercise their right to vote out unwanted union officials. Foundation attorneys are currently assisting Starbucks employees who filed decertification petitions in Manhattan, NY, Buffalo, NY, Pittsburg, PA, and Bloomington, MN.
Federal labor law prevents workers from exercising their right to remove an unpopular union for at least one year after one is installed. In each instance, the decertification petition was filed shortly after the one-year period concluded. For example, the NLRB only certified SBWU officials as the monopoly bargaining “representative” in late June 2022 at the Cottonwood Heights location.
The growing movement among Starbucks partners to eject unwanted union officials from their stores is part of a larger trend. The NLRB’s own statistics also show a 20% increase in decertification petitions last year versus 2021. However, union officials still have many ways to manipulate federal labor law to prevent workers from voting them out, including by filing unrelated or unverified charges against management.
“We call on SBWU officials and the NLRB to respect the wishes of these workers who simply want a prompt decertification vote to decide whether or not they want the union in their workplace,” commented Mark Mix, President of the National Right to Work Foundation. “The right of workers to oust a union that lacks majority support is supposed to be fundamental to federal labor law, otherwise the NLRB is just protecting incumbent union bosses to the detriment of actual rank-and-file workers’ wishes.”
The National Right to Work Legal Defense Foundation is a nonprofit, charitable organization providing free legal aid to employees whose human or civil rights have been violated by compulsory unionism abuses. The Foundation, which can be contacted toll-free at 1-800-336-3600, assists thousands of employees in about 200 cases nationwide per year.