Starbucks worker sues to oust NLRB executives

An anti-union Starbucks worker has filed a lawsuit against the National Labor Relations Board over what she says is an unconstitutional structure.

After the NLRB dismissed Starbucks worker Ariana Cortes’ petition to dissolve her union, she filed a lawsuit to allow the removal of NLRB members.

Starbucks is not involved in the lawsuit.

 Ms. Cortes, who works at a Starbucks in Buffalo, New York, is supported by the conservative anti-union National Right to Work Foundation, which is trying to decertify Starbucks unions around the country. The Buffalo coffee shop where Ms. Cortes works is one of the more than 350 locations that have voted to unionize.

Besides aiming to remove NLRB executives, Ms. Cortes wants to block the board from ruling on her petition to decertify her union until after the lawsuit has concluded.

Ms. Cortes says the union at the Buffalo location is unpopular and many workers want to dissolve it.

The labor board initially dismissed Ms. Cortes’ petition in May, ruling that decertification proceedings could not continue until all accusations of unfair labor practices at her store were resolved. She has appealed the decision.

The NLRB, which has a 3-1 Democratic majority, has been active in fighting against unfair labor practices at several companies, including Starbucks. The board is considering over 100 cases of unlawful labor actions against the coffee giant, including firing labor organizers and closing stores as retribution for worker organization. 

A decertification movement is growing in Starbucks stores, helped by vigorous campaigning by the Right to Work Foundation. More than a dozen stores have filed to decertify their union, but none have succeeded. 

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