Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Starbucks to settle NLRB case in Michigan

Wednesday January 7,
Starbucks to settle National Labor Relations case in Michigan, avoids trial

NEW YORK (AP) -- Starbucks Corp. said Wednesday it will settle a dispute with the National Labor Relations Board over a Michigan barista who said he was fired for participating in union activities.
The settlement allows Starbucks to avoid an administrative trial that was scheduled to begin today.

Starbucks spokeswoman Tara Darrow said the company is working to finalize the settlement. She said Starbucks was approached by the NLRB Tuesday with a request to work out an agreement.

In a complaint filed by the Detroit office of the NLRB in September, Cole Dorsey -- a Starbucks barista in Grand Rapids, Mich. -- said he received warnings and then was fired because of his "sympathies for and activities on behalf of" the Industrial Workers of the World, a union that has been attempting to gain a foothold at the gourmet coffee retailer.

He was fired eight months after the IWW and Starbucks settled another complaint at the Grand Rapids store. As part of that settlement, Starbucks agreed to post notices on bulletin boards advising employees of their right to join a union.

Starbucks said it fired Dorsey for being late.

Starbucks shares fell 23 cents, or 2.3 percent, to close at $9.99.