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The National Labor Relations Board has filed a complaint against Starbucks for illegal anti-union practices in four locations. 

All four of the Starbucks stores mentioned in the grievance are located in Oklahoma, with two in Oklahoma City. The agency issued the complaint after investigating charges filed by Starbucks Workers United, which is trying to unionize several Starbucks locations. 

The NLRB complaint mentioned several illegal practices that have come up in investigations into Starbucks’ anti-union policy. 

According to the grievance, Starbucks management threatened workers with loss of benefits and pay raises if they unionized, promised improved working conditions if unionization drives were stopped, impeded employees from posting union material inside stores and selectively punished pro-union workers.

The filing also mentioned the firing of Starbucks barista Avery Norman. According to union leaders and the NLRB, Ms. Norman was fired illegally for participating in union activity. 

The agency seeks a formal apology for Ms. Norman as well as the distribution of company wrongdoings to all workers and for managers to take NLRB-approved training on the National Labor Relations Act and its rules. 

The complaint comes while Starbucks is on an unprecedented anti-union campaign. Interim CEO Howard Schultz has gone on record multiple times regarding his animosity toward unions, even going so far as to compare the company’s anti-union stance to Nazi Holocaust victims sharing limited resources. 

Starbucks has fired over 100 union organizers since the push for unionization began. The company has also closed locations with significant union activity, though it cited safety concerns as the reason.  

Still, Starbucks has 285 unionized locations out of its 15,874 stores in the U.S., per Union Election Data. 

The NLRB has investigated over 1,300 labor violations at Starbucks locations in the U.S.

Mr. Schultz is expected to make an appearance before the Senate on March 29 to address the company’s union policy. 

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