Economic Trends

The unemployment rate increased slightly in August, despite the economy adding another 315,000 jobs during the month. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the unemployment rate in August was at 3.7 percent, up from the 3.5 percent recorded one month earlier. Despite the labor shortage, an additional 344,000 were added to the unemployment…

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Unionization Spreads to Chipotle

In the first union representation election held within the Chipotle system, employees in a Lansing Michigan store agreed to unionize by an 11-3 vote through the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). The Lansing effort was the first to go completely through to a formal vote, but not the first store to request a union election…

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Starbucks-Union Battles Escalate

The ongoing unionizing battles within the Starbucks system continues to escalate on both fronts as the Workers United union has filed more complaints with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). In addition, the company has advised employees in two more stores – one in Seattle and the other in Kansas City, both of which have…

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Federal Court Orders Workers Rehired

Late yesterday, the NLRB announced that it had prevailed in federal district court and won an injunction against Starbucks ordering the company to rehire a number of workers it had terminated and further to cease all unlawful activities. The case involved a successful union election held at a Starbucks in Memphis where the company disciplined…

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NLRB Accused of Misconduct

Speaking of organized labor, the latest news on unionizing efforts within local Starbucks’ stores has the company accusing the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and the Starbucks Workers United union of misconduct on the basis of allegations made by a whistleblower in the agency. Starbucks has formally claimed that agency officials interfered with elections by…

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Court Adds Travel Time to Paychecks

The Maryland Supreme Court ruled this month that hourly employees must be compensated for time spent traveling from one workplace to another under certain circumstances. The court determined that the federal Portal-to-Portal Act, which provides that travel to and from a primary worksite is generally non-compensable, was never adopted in Maryland. Conversely, Maryland wage laws…

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Giving Tax Credits for Union Dues

Continuing to kowtow to organized labor, California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a new FY 2023 state budget into law earlier this month that includes an opportunity to enact the Workers Tax Fairness Credit, an unprecedented income tax credit for union members who pay dues to union organizations. Although Newsom has already been praised by labor…

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QSR Union Updates

Following up on the Howard Schultz announcement a week or two ago that Starbucks would immediately be closing 16 stores – some of which have already become unionized – for safety reasons, a leaked video of interim CEO Howard Schultz on Twitter confirms that the company will be “closing many more”. And further in the…

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2022 Union Petitions Dwarf Last Year

It probably isn’t a surprise to anyone, with the Biden administration strongly pushing unionization, but the total number of union representation petitions filed in the first three quarters of this fiscal year already dwarfs the total for all of FY21. The National Labor Relations board (NLRB) this week issued a press release reporting that 1,935…

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More QSRs Face Union Elections

It’s not just Starbucks anymore, as more employee groups within the QSR industry are petitioning the NLRB for union representation elections. What essentially began as a movement within Starbucks has now spread to a couple of stores within the Chipotle brand as well as a host of smaller chain brands across the country. We told…

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