Starbucks fired a longtime union organizer just two days after Howard Schultz, the billionaire former CEO, was questioned in a Senate committee hearing about the company’s illegal campaign of union busting.
Lexi Rizzo led the campaign at a Starbucks in Buffalo that was one of the first to have a successful union vote, launching a movement that spread across the country and involved thousands of Starbucks workers.
Starbucks told the outlet that Rizzo was canned for repeatedly being late for work. The Starbucks United Workers union said Rizzo’s firing was “retaliation at its worst”. The union said two other pro-union workers had been fired.
“I gave every ounce of everything I had to this company,” Rizzo said in an emotional video posted to TikTok. “My heart is broken.”
Rizzo continued to target Schultz, who appeared before the Senate on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) issues last Wednesday.
She said of Schultz: “You’re a heartless beast who doesn’t know how to sleep at night. You’ve got hundreds of thousands of people giving everything they have so you can make another dollar. And then you treat us like shit.”
Democratic senators confronted Schultz last week over eight rulings by administrative judges of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that Starbucks has committed 130 labor law violations since the union campaign began in Buffalo in December 2021. Schultz has denied that the company has violated the law. .
Last month, an NLRB administrative judge found that Starbucks had committed “egregious and widespread” labor law violations when it fired six pro-union workers in Buffalo and Rochester, and ordered the company to rehire and compensate the workers.
“Starbucks has waged the most aggressive and illegal union busting campaign in the recent history of our country,” Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said during the session’s opening. “This Union-busting Campaign Led by Howard Schultz”.
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