How nasty has Starbucks’ anti-union campaign been? So nasty that a National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) official says that one of the union’s few losses was so tainted by Starbucks’ illegal actions that a do-over election wouldn’t be enough to fix it. Instead, management should have to bargain with the workers as if the union won the vote to begin with.

After listing a series of threats from management to workers at the Camp Road store in Hamburg, New York—including losses of various benefits—Linda Leslie, a regional director for the NLRB, argues, “The serious and substantial unfair labor practice conduct described above … is such that there is only a slight possibility of traditional remedies erasing their effects and conducting a fair election. Therefore, on balance, the employees’ sentiments regarding representation, having been expressed through authorization cards, would be protected better by the issuance of a bargaining order for the Camp Road store.”

This is not a common remedy for the NLRB to propose and speaks to just how strenuously Starbucks has fought the will of its workers, who have voted to unionize in more than 75 stores. An administrative law judge will hear the NLRB complaint in a process that will not be over anytime soon.

Laura Clawson, Daily KOS Labor