Starbucks is urging the National Labor Relations Board to end all mail-in union elections at its U.S. stores after allegations of improper coordination between board officials and the union.
The request was included in a letter Starbucks sent to the NLRB on Monday.
“The purpose of this misconduct was to tip-the-scale in order to deliver the outcome sought by the Union,” Starbucks wrote. “The result of the misconduct was to ignore—and bypass—the actual sentiments that Starbucks partners may have expressed in properly conducted elections.”
The allegations involved a vote at an Overland Park, Kansas, store where workers voted 6-1 in favor of unionizing. Seven additional ballots have been disputed, however, that could stop the effort.
Starbucks claimed similar concerns have arisen in additional locations.
“If the NLRB does not respond by investigating and remedying these types of actions, we do not see how the board can represent itself as a neutral agency,” the company said in the letter.
The allegations continue to increase in importance as more than 200 Starbucks locations have already unionized. A total of 314 U.S. locations have petitioned the NLRB for elections to unionize, according to the Washington Post.
NLRB Press Secretary Kayla Blado said in response to the Post report on Monday that the agency doesn’t comment on open cases.
“The agency has well-established processes to raise challenges regarding the handling of both election matters and unfair labor practice cases. Those challenges should be raised in filings specific to the particular matters in question,” Blado said.
Starbucks Workers United claims that Starbucks wants to draw attention away from its anti-union activity to stop union elections.
“Ultimately, this is Starbucks’ latest attempt to manipulate the legal process for their own means and prevent workers from exercising their fundamental right to organize,” the campaign said in a statement to CNBC on Monday.
Starbucks is not the only large American retailer to address issues of voting problems with the NLRB. Amazon also accused the board of improper contact in the case of Brooklyn workers in April of last year. The case remains pending.
In addition to union concerns, the coffee retailer made headlines last month when CEO Howard Schultz blasted the leadership of Democrat-run cities for allowing unaddressed crime. The company announced it would shut down 16 locations. The closed stores were in major metropolitan areas, including Seattle, Los Angeles, Portland, Oregon, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.
“It has shocked me that one of the primary concerns that our retail partners have is their own personal safety,” Schultz said in a video regarding his conversations with employees. “And then we heard the stories that go along with it about what happens in our bathrooms, the issue of mental illness, the issue of homelessness, and the issue of crime.”