AP

Starbucks labor organizer resigns from Buffalo store

Sep 14, 2022, 8:08 AM | Updated: 9:17 am

A high-profile labor organizer has resigned from Starbucks, saying the company forced her out because of her union leadership.

Jaz Brisack, a barista who helped lead the unionization of a store in downtown Buffalo, New York, late last year, said Wednesday that her last day at the company will be Sept. 18. The vote at Brisack’s store kicked off a movement; since then, at least 238 U.S. Starbucks stores have voted to unionize, according to the National Labor Relations Board.

In a letter to her manager, which Brisack shared with The Associated Press, Brisack said Starbucks has refused to accommodate her availability requests for seven months. Brisack said that has hurt morale at the store, where her co-workers have had to cover for her when she is absent.

“Starbucks has deliberately made my continued employment at the company impossible,” said Brisack, who has worked at the company for nearly two years.

Seattle-based Starbucks said it tried to balance Brisack’s scheduling requests with the store’s staffing needs. The company said Brisack was working around 20 hours per week until May, when she told the store she was only available for 6.5 hours on one day per week. Starbucks said that wasn’t approved because it didn’t meet the store’s needs.

“We work to treat every partner equally, balancing their scheduling requests with the business and customer needs of the store,” Starbucks spokesman Reggie Borges said.

Brisack said her request wasn’t unusual, and many people work at Starbucks only one or two days per week. Borges said schedules vary by store, but Brisack’s store is already so understaffed that it often has to close early.

Starbucks doesn’t support the unionization effort. But Borges said no employee is treated differently or disciplined because of their support for unions.

Brisack said at least 10 of her co-workers have been fired by the company over the last year. In June, the NLRB filed a federal court case in New York seeking the reinstatement of seven pro-union workers who were fired from a store in Buffalo.

The NLRB has also charged Starbucks with interfering with workers’ right to organize in Memphis, Tennessee, where the company fired seven workers in February. A federal judge in Memphis recently ordered Starbucks to reinstate those workers while the NLRB case plays out.

But the NLRB lost a similar case in June, when a federal judge in Phoenix denied the agency’s request to force Starbucks to rehire three workers.

Workers United, the union backing the Starbucks drive, said Wednesday that it has filed an unfair labor practice charge against Starbucks on Brisack’s behalf.

Brisack said she expects the NLRB will order Starbucks to reinstate her. In the meantime, she will remain on the bargaining committee for her store and will continue to work with Workers United to organize other Starbucks stores.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Several hundred students and pro-Palestinian supporters rally at the intersection of Grove and Coll...

Associated Press

Pro-Palestinian protests sweep US college campuses following mass arrests at Columbia

NEW YORK (AP) — Columbia canceled in-person classes, dozens of protesters were arrested at New York University and Yale, and the gates to Harvard Yard were closed to the public Monday as some of the most prestigious U.S. universities sought to defuse campus tensions over Israel’s war with Hamas. More than 100 pro-Palestinian demonstrators who […]

5 hours ago

Ban on sleeping outdoors under consideration in Supreme Court...

Associated Press

With homelessness on the rise, the Supreme Court weighs bans on sleeping outdoors

The Supreme Court is wrestling with major questions about the growing issue of homelessness as it considers a ban on sleeping outdoors.

6 hours ago

Arizona judge declares mistrial in case of rancher who shot migrant...

Associated Press

Arizona judge declares mistrial in the case of a rancher accused of fatally shooting a migrant

An Arizona judge declared a mistrial in the case of rancher accused of killing a Mexican man on his property near the U.S.-Mexico border.

7 hours ago

Donald Trump appears in court for opening statements in his criminal trial for allegedly covering u...

Associated Press

Trump tried to ‘corrupt’ the 2016 election, prosecutor alleges as hush money trial gets underway

Donald Trump's criminal trial in New York over alleged hush money payments started with opening statements on Monday.

16 hours ago

This satellite image from Planet Labs PBC shows Iran's nuclear site in Isfahan, Iran, April 4, 2024...

Associated Press

Israel, Iran play down apparent Israeli strike. The muted responses could calm tensions — for now

Israel and Iran are both playing down an apparent Israeli airstrike near a major air base and nuclear site in central Iran.

3 days ago

Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, R-La., talks to reporters just after lawmakers pushed a $95 bill...

Associated Press

Ukraine, Israel aid advances in rare House vote as Democrats help Republicans push it forward

The House pushed ahead Friday on a foreign aid package of $95 billion for Ukraine, Israel, Taiwan and other sources of humanitarian support.

3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

...

COLLINS COMFORT MASTERS

Here are 5 things Arizona residents need to know about their HVAC system

It's warming back up in the Valley, which means it's time to think about your air conditioning system's preparedness for summer.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Starbucks labor organizer resigns from Buffalo store