Companies Are Pushing Back Harder on Union Efforts, Workers Say

Once the union wins a few elections, however, “you pull out all the stops,” Mr. Pryzbylski said.

In some cases, the apparent escalation of company pushback has coincided with a slowing down of the union campaigns. At Starbucks, filings for union elections fell below 10 in August, from about 70 five months earlier, and no Apple store has filed for a union election since November.

At Starbucks, the company unlawfully dismissed seven Buffalo-area employees last year, not long after the union won two elections there, according to a ruling by a federal administrative judge.

A Trader Joe’s store in Louisville, Ky., which was the third at the company to unionize, fired two employees who were supportive of the union campaign and has formally disciplined several more, according to Connor Hovey, a worker involved in the organizing. Documents shared by Mr. Hovey show the company citing a variety of issues, such as dress-code violations, tardiness and excessively long breaks.

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This article was written by Noam Scheiber and originally published on