Starbucks Corporation is pushing to suspend vote-by mail in union elections. They cite alleged irregularities. However, the company is a prominent supporter of vote-by email in ordinary political elections including the 2022 midterms.
Monday’s National Public Radio report:
Starbucks has accused employees of the National Labor Relations Board of conspiring with union organizers in Kansas City. It wants the agency to stop all mail-in votes nationwide until an investigation is completed. Labor organizers quickly called the action an extension of a wider anti-union campaign.
Starbucks claims that NLRB regional staff violated the line of neutrality repeatedly. Starbucks claims that even though they ordered a mail-in election to be held, the agency arranged for certain voters to vote in person, without informing Starbucks representatives.
The company also claims that NLRB workers provided real-time information to organizers regarding whether certain ballots were received. The company also stated that similar actions were believed to have occurred in at least two other NLRB areas.
Starbucks and Howard Schultz, its CEO, push for vote by mail in U.S. elections despite concerns from some voters that it may also be subject to irregularities or lack of oversight.
In a 2021 press release, Schultz urged employees (“partners”) to participate in voting, directing them to “StarbucksPartnersVote.com so you can register, request a mail in ballot, and learn more about the issues that matter to you and your loved ones – all in one place.”
The StarbucksPartnersVote.com website includes information about vote-by-mail. Democracy Works, a non profit that receives funding from left-of-center foundations, “powers” the website.
Other left-of-center companies have expressed dissatisfaction with vote-by mail — when it’s used to unionize employees.
Amazon.com attempted to stop vote-by-mail during union elections last year to preserve “vote fifidelity.”