New York City The National Labor Relations Board has approved a settlement with Starbucks Corp. that explicitly states Minneapolis-area baristas can discuss union issues while on the job.
According to the settlement, Starbucks will post a notice in stores telling baristas the company will not remove union postings and will not prohibit union supporters from discussing the union while at work.
The settlement follows allegations that Starbucks' policy on posting materials and soliciting employees was being enforced differently in certain stores and by certain store managers. The union, the Industrial Workers of the World, has been attempting to gain a foothold with the coffee chain.
Starbucks did not admit any wrongdoing in the settlement, saying in a statement that it is the "latest in the IWW's 'kitchen sink' approach to criticizing all things Starbucks." The company said it chose to settle to save the time and expense of going to trial.
IWW members filed the initial NLRB complaint against Starbucks in January, saying the company did not allow employees to post union materials on bulletin boards and interfered with union supporters who were attempting to discuss work conditions and the union with coworkers.