News & Commentary

February 1, 2024

Morgan Sperry

Morgan Sperry is a student at Harvard Law School and also serves as OnLabor's Social Media Director.

In today’s news and commentary, an NLRB ALJ finds that Starbucks has once again violated labor law, and journalists across Chicago, Orlando, and Virginia are on strike.

Yesterday, an NLRB Administrative Law Judge held that managers at two Starbucks stores in Seattle unlawfully interrogated workers about their intent to engage in planned strikes from April to July 2023. Specifically, ALJ Brian Gee found that baristas received threatening phone calls asking when the strike would end from Starbucks corporate. In placing these calls, the managers engaged in unlawful interrogation that interfered with the employees’ strike intentions in violation of the National Labor Relations Act. This decision brings the count of Board-determined labor law violations by Starbucks up to a stunning 43 (out of 44 claims). 

Journalists at the Chicago Tribune, the Orlando Sentinel, the Virginian-Pilot, and other major papers are on strike today in protest of mismanagement by the newspaper’s venture capitalist owner, Alden Global Capital. The company has refused to offer cost-of-living raises, threatened to end 401(k) matches, and neglected to offer paid parental leave. Since being purchased by Alden, the papers’ staffs have shrunk to less than half of what they were at the time of the takeover. Notably, the strike is expected to disrupt the newspapers’ production (rather than just send a symbolic signal to the public, which is what recent media walkouts at the New York Times and Condé Nast have aimed for).

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