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Starbucks in Phoenix engaged in unfair labour practices, say fed officials

PHOENIX (AP) – Federal labour officials have asked a judge to force Starbucks Corp to re-instate three union activists at its Phoenix location, alleging that the coffee giant engaged in unfair labour practices, documents show.

The National Labor Relations Board’s (NLRB) Phoenix regional director, in a filing on Friday in United States (US) District Court in Arizona, sought an injunction that would make Starbucks hire back its three employees – who were three of four members of the union organising committee.

The NLRB’s petition is the latest blow to the coffee chain as locations nationwide seek to unionise. In Phoenix, federal labour officials allege that Starbucks retaliated after it learned of employees there seeking to unionise.

“Among other things, Starbucks disciplined, suspended, and discharged one employee, constructively discharged another, and placed a third on an unpaid leave of absence after revoking recently granted accommodations,” the filing states.

Starbucks did not immediately return a request for comment on Friday evening.

A Starbucks sign is seen hanging in front of its outlet. PHOTO: AP