News & Commentary

May 31, 2023

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, Starbucks is (yet again) violating the NLRA, Ben & Jerry’s voluntarily recognizes its Scoopers union, and UPS workers prepare to strike for air conditioning and other benefits.

Yesterday, an NLRB judge issued a broad cease-and-desist order prohibiting managers at a Starbucks in Wichita, Kansas, from interfering with workers’ organizing activities. Citing Starbucks’s “extraordinary” proclivity for violating the NLRA, the judge found that Starbucks managers illegally threatened to cut hours, deprive workers of benefits, and close its hiring portal because employees were organizing. 

Next, Ben & Jerry’s has voluntarily recognized its “Scoopers United” union after a card check officiated by a Vermont State Representative. In so doing, the ice cream company, which touts itself as socially-conscious, breaks with its facially progressive peers—like Starbucks and Trader Joe’s, who continue to engage in old-school union busting—to actually guarantee its workers a “sweet and collaborative future.”

Finally, UPS workers continue to prepare to strike as we head into the sweltering summer months. Drivers have been raising the issue of lack of air conditioning in delivery trucks—among other safety concerns—for over a year. They also seek pay increases and strive to eliminate existing worker hierarchies, which grant different benefits and pay scales to two separate classes of workers. As delivery services (spurred by the pandemic) proliferate and profits soar, drivers deserve their fair share.

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