In what Starbucks Workers United, the union representing workers at a Buffalo, New York location, calls "retaliation at its worst," Starbucks has fired union organizer Lexi Rizzo. Rizzo is ostensibly being fired for repeatedly being late to work. However, she led efforts to unionize the location. Starbucks' CEO Howard Schultz was coincidentally just grilled by the US Senate over the coffee giants union busting.
"You are a heartless monster and I don't know how you sleep at night," she said of Schultz, "You have hundreds of thousands of people giving everything that they have so that you can make another dollar. And then you treat us like we're dirt."
Democratic Senators confronted Schultz last week on eight rulings by administrative judges at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that Starbucks had committed 130 labor law violations since the union campaign began in Buffalo in December 2021. Schultz denied that the company had violated the law.
Last month, a NLRB administrative judge found that Starbucks had committed "egregious and widespread" violations of labor law when it fired six pro-union workers in Buffalo and Rochester. The company was ordered to rehire and compensate the workers.
"Starbucks has waged the most aggressive and illegal union-busting campaign in the modern history of our country," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said as he opened the hearing. "That union-busting campaign has been led by Howard Schultz."