New York City sues Starbucks over a barista's firing for union activity.

New York City sued Starbucks for firing a union organiser in Queens. The department is seeking reinstatement, civil penalties, restitution, and back pay. "Starbucks wrongfully fires pro-union workers countrywide in punishment for union organising," stated a fired worker.

The NYC Department of Consumer and Worker Protection (DCWP) believes Starbucks breached just cause laws when it fired worker Austin Locke on July 5, less than a month after the store voted to unionise. The complaint seeks Locke's reinstatement, civil penalties, compensation, and back pay.

Locke was fired for not completing a COVID-19 form and falsely reporting a supervisor for unwelcome physical contact, according to the lawsuit. Reuters said the incidents happened after the store's union vote.DCWP Commissioner Vilda Vera Mayuga said the organisation "will fight for the dignity and respect all employees deserve"

"As Labor Day approaches, remember that workers are the backbone of our community and deserve the freedom to organise," Mayuga added.

The action follows the establishment of Starbucks' first union in an upstate New York location in December 2021.

The corporation has been accused of unlawful union-related terminations. In June, the NLRB accused Starbucks of employing "illegal methods" to stop the movement, including terminating union activists.Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has spoken out against unionisation multiple times, notably during his first townhall as interim CEO in April.

"The Starbucks Workers United campaign began a year ago in Buffalo," stated Locke. "235 Starbucks are unionised. Starbucks unlawfully fires union organisers nationwide."

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