Starbucks Is Illegally Firing Workers That Are Organizing Unions


In my last email, I told you my story about why I decided to organize. Now, I want to tell you about how Starbucks responded to my organizing efforts.

Unfortunately Starbucks didn’t respect our right to organize a union, and after 13 years of service, I was fired simply because I wanted to have a voice and wanted my fellow partners to have a voice.

I was fired in the middle of one of my shifts. My manager at the time, who was brought in to bust our union, pulled me off the floor unexpectedly. I invoked my Weingarten rights and called my fellow union workers and union representative, who came down to my store.

Starbucks claimed to fire me for closing the lobby area without getting permission from my manager. Yet, the date they put on my termination papers was not even a day that I had been the shift on duty. When she was firing me, my manager couldn’t even look me in the eye or answer any question about why I was being terminated.

We filed an unfair labor practice charge for my termination, and the NLRB is now prosecuting Starbucks for firing me. While we are confident I will be reinstated, the damage has been done. Starbucks took away my income and my community when they terminated me in retaliation.

Starbucks is clearly targeting union leaders and using any excuse they can find to fire us.

I am one of now 15 partners in Buffalo, 8 of whom identify with the LGBTQ+ community, to be fired for unionizing, and over 140 partners nationally. Starbucks, how can you care about the queer community when you’re trying to take away our benefits, fire us, and silence us?

Starbucks must do better.

In Solidarity,

Sam Amato

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