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Starbucks fires employee who formed company’s first union

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Starbucks has fired the first employee to start the company's union effort just days after former CEO Howard Schultz’s controversial Senate hearing.

Alexis Rizzo was a shift supervisor and union leader at the Genesee St. Starbucks in Buffalo, New York, for seven years.

Starbucks Workers Union revealed Rizzo's firing in a tweet on Saturday and said on a crowdfunding page that "this is retaliation at its worst."

Read More: Ex-Starbucks boss Howard Schultz questioned over “most aggressive and illegal union-busting campaign in the modern history of our country”

Rizzo said: “I’m absolutely heartbroken. It wasn’t just a job for me. It was like my family.

“It was like losing everything. I’ve been there since I was 17 years old. It’s like my entire support system, and I think that they knew that.”

Rizzo said her store managers sacked her after finishing her shift on Friday, March 31. 

Read More: Starbucks illegally fired union staff in a “reign of coercion”

She said they informed her it was due to being late four times, two of which were one minute late.

Starbucks said Rizzo had skipped over four hours of work during those instances and that she had written multiple write-ups for being late.

Starbucks spokesperson Rachel Wall said firings occur only when policies are clearly violated.

In this case, she said several attendance violations affected other baristas at that outlet.

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Rizzo claimed she was dismissed due to Schultz’s Senate testimony on Wednesday, March 29.

Senator Bernie Sanders grilled the former CEO over the coffee giant's reported union-busting activities.

Starbucks Workers United has voted to unionize almost 300 Starbucks stores.

The union has filed over 500 unfair work practice complaints against Starbucks with the federal labor board.

Source: CNBC

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