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The union alleged that Starbucks illegally closed the coffee shop in response, Bloomberg reports

A pro-union poster is seen on a lamppost outside the Starbucks Broadway and Denny location in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Seattle on March 22, 2022.

Toby Scott | soba pictures | Light Rocket | Getty Images

trade union in Starbucks He claims that the coffee chain is shutting down a syndicate cafe recently in retaliation for its activist efforts.

It’s the latest escalation between a rapidly growing national labor movement and the coffee giant.

United Workers, the union that supports Starbucks’ regulatory efforts, said in a filing Friday with the National Labor Relations Board that Starbucks is violating federal labor law by permanently closing its Ithaca, New York store. The group claimed it was retaliatory since the employees were on the site Vote for unions in April.

Ithica store employees say they originally started a strike due to unsafe working conditions on April 16. Workers pulled out due to a waste emergency caused by excess grease trap, according to a union statement. In an email to the union’s bargaining committee, Starbucks cited the grease trap as a reason to close the store.

The union committee alleges that Starbucks closed the store in retaliation for activity protected by federal labor law and to prevent workers elsewhere from organizing. “It is an apparent attempt to intimidate workers across the country by retaliating against its employees,” the commission said in a statement.

Starbucks said it was opening and closing stores “as a regular part” of its operations. “Our goal is to ensure that each partner is supported in their individual situation, and we have immediate market opportunities,” a Starbucks spokesperson said in an email to CNBC.

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The union is asking the agency to seek an injunction from the federal court to prevent or quickly reverse the store’s closure.

About 100 Starbucks coffee shops voted to join unions under the leadership of UW, while only 14 locations voted against unions. This week, the United Workers’ Organization announced that it was in the process of creating Million dollar fund To cover lost pay for baristas who are on strike.

The United Labor Organization has filed at least 175 complaints against the coffee chain for unfair labor practices, CNBC previously reported. Starbucks has denied any wrongdoing.

The trade union allegations were first reported by Bloomberg News.

CNBC’s Amelia Lucas contributed to this report.

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