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Supreme Court Deliberates On Starbucks’ Dispute With Labor Board: REPORT

(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

Mariane Angela Entertainment And News Reporter
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The Supreme Court began deliberating on Starbucks’ conflict with a federal labor board Tuesday, multiple outlets reported.

The Supreme Court took up a case focusing on Starbucks’ challenge to the National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) authority to reinstate seven workers fired for trying to unionize, according to The Washington Post. During the Supreme Court’s initial hearing, a clear split reportedly emerged among the justices. Justice Neil Gorsuch pointed out a discrepancy in the standards applied to different federal agencies, and questioned the lenient approach of the NLRB, Reuters reported.

“In all sorts of alphabet soup agencies, we don’t do this. District courts apply the ‘likelihood of success’ test as we normally conceive it. So why is this particular statutory regime different than so many others?” Gorsuch said, according to Reuters.

As the Supreme Court reviews the NLRB’s power to reinstate employees, experts worry that a ruling against the NLRB could weaken labor organizing across the board, The Washington Post reported. The labor board can reportedly request a federal judge to force a company to negotiate with its unionized workers, reopen closed stores or take other actions to correct unfair labor practices. (RELATED: Police Arrest Man For Allegedly Hiding Cameras Inside Starbucks Bathrooms: REPORT)

The dispute between NLRB and Starbucks started in the summer of 2022 when Starbucks fired seven baristas at a Memphis store for policy violations, after they invited a TV news team to film their union efforts outside regular hours, according to Reuters. The NLRB reportedly intervened and secured a court order for the workers’ reinstatement. The employees claimed their dismissal was mainly due to their unionization efforts and a higher court subsequently confirmed this ruling, Reuters reported,

NEW YORK CITY - NOVEMBER 16: People picket outside of a Starbucks store in New York's East Village as Starbucks Workers United have announced that they are waging the company's largest strike Thursday on the coffee company's Red Cup Day on November 16, 2023 in New York City. Across the country, thousands of Starbucks workers from around 200 unionized stores will go on strike on the annual Red Cup Day, which gives customers a free reusable cup after ordering a holiday drink. The union has said it is demanding that the company bargain on issues including staffing and scheduling. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK CITY – NOVEMBER 16: People picket outside of a Starbucks store in New York’s East Village as Starbucks Workers United have announced that they are waging the company’s largest strike Thursday on the coffee company’s Red Cup Day on November 16, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

As Starbucks deals with its intricate relationship with Starbucks Workers United, union efforts have persisted. Both sides declared intentions to resume talks February, aiming for a contract by the close of 2024, Daily Wire reported. Despite these negotiations, Starbucks has decided to continue with its Supreme Court appeal, drawing criticism from union leaders, according to The Washington Post. President of Workers United Lynne Fox reportedly voiced disappointment over Starbucks’ choice to pursue legal action.

“The day [Starbucks] committed to a new path should’ve been the day that they pulled back the case before SCOTUS,” Fox told the outlet.