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NLRB v. Siren Retail Corp. (9th Cir. 22-1969 4/24/24) NLRA | Unfair Labor Practices

By April 24, 2024June 30th, 2024Uncategorized

The panel granted the National Labor Relations Board’s application for enforcement of its order directing Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle to “cease and desist from failing and refusing to recognize and bargain with the Union.”

In February 2022, Workers United filed a petition seeking to represent 90 employees at the Seattle Roastery. Citing rising COVID-19 cases in the area, the Regional Director ordered a mail-ballot election, which took place in April 2022. Starbucks refused to recognize and bargain with the union, claiming that the Regional Director should have ordered an in-person election instead. The Regional Director overruled the objection and certified the results. The Board held that by refusing to recognize and bargain with the Union, Starbucks engaged in unfair labor practices in violation of Section 8(a)(5) of the National Labor Relations Act.

The panel rejected Starbucks’s claim that the court lacked jurisdiction over the enforcement application because the Board severed the question of whether to adopt a compensatory remedy. The panel held that the Board’s order was final and reviewable under 29 U.S.C. § 160(e). Nothing in the order suggested that the severed issue would have any effect on the Board’s conclusion regarding the underlying charge, nor on the order to bargain.

The panel held that the Regional Director did not abuse his discretion when he faithfully applied Aspirus Keweenaw, 370 N.L.R.B. 45 (2020), and ordered a mail-ballot election. Accordingly, the panel held that the Board correctly applied its own law in determining that the Regional Director appropriately exercised its discretion to hold a mail-ballot election. The certification of the union’s representative was proper, and the Board correctly found that Starbucks violated Section 8(a)(5) by refusing to bargain.