Starbucks employee claims he was fired for union activity | WSAU News/Talk 550AM 99.9FM

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PLOVER, WI (WSAU-WAOW) – A former Starbucks employee said he was fired in April for union activity.

There was a rally in support of Kolton Gosnell in Plover earlier this month.

Gosnell had worked as a shift supervisor at Starbucks in Plover since August 2021. Gosnell said seeing other Starbucks in the United States fill out and win union elections inspired him and others to push for a union on their site.

“We saw what was happening in Buffalo, New York, when they organized stores for their unions and had the right to negotiate a contract,” Gosnell said.

Starbucks workers in Plover voted 7 to 5 in favor of unionization.

“We just see how workers are treated by customers and management,” Gosnell said. “We absolutely need unions in the service sector to help workers get better working conditions, rights and pay.”

In the job separation document, Starbucks cites Gosnell’s reason for firing as being behind the counter and backroom without working, in the store after closing and performing work duties without being punched. Gosnell said he was unfairly singled out.

“The offense for which Kolton was fired occurred about a month earlier,” said Workers United international vice president Kathy Hanshew. “…It was only after filing and winning their union election that he was fired.”

A Starbucks district manager did not return a call for comment.

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