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Buffalo, NY, Starbucks union organizer resigns, claims she was forced out for her union leadership
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A high-profile labor organizer has resigned from Starbucks, saying the company forced her out because of her union leadership.
Jaz Brisack, a barista who helped lead the unionization of a store in downtown Buffalo, New York, late last year, said Wednesday that her last day at the company will be Sept. 18. The vote at Brisack’s store kicked off a movement; since then, at least 238 U.S. Starbucks stores have voted to unionize, according to the National Labor Relations Board.
In a letter to her manager, which Brisack shared with The Associated Press, Brisack said Starbucks has refused to accommodate her availability requests for seven months. Brisack said that has hurt morale at the store, where her co-workers have had to cover for her when she is absent.
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"Starbucks has deliberately made my continued employment at the company impossible," said Brisack, who has worked at the company for nearly two years.
Seattle-based Starbucks said it tried to balance Brisack’s scheduling requests with the store’s staffing needs. The company said Brisack was working around 20 hours per week until May, when she told the store she was only available for 6.5 hours on one day per week. Starbucks said that wasn’t approved because it didn’t meet the store’s needs.
"We work to treat every partner equally, balancing their scheduling requests with the business and customer needs of the store," Starbucks spokesman Reggie Borges said.