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Santa Cruz Starbucks Employees Sue Company Over Unfair Labor Practices

Plus, a Bay Area food delivery app is accused of deceiving customers and more Bay Area intel

Starbucks nitro cold brew Starbucks

Starbucks corporate is getting hit with lawsuits from two Santa Cruz Starbucks locations, both alleging unfair labor practices, the Mercury News reports. Local union leader Joseph Thompson told the Merc that as unionization efforts are ramping up, they’ve seen an “overwhelming district manager presence” at these locations, which is unusual, according to Thompson, and is seen as a way to surveil those workers attempting to form a union. The lawsuits also allege intimidation and hours being cut in retaliation.

Four locations of Starbucks will participate in unionization votes, including three Santa Cruz County spots and a Mill Valley location, which all could receive ballots by April 19. The first company-owned Starbucks location voted to unionize in early December 2021, and since then 12 others have voted to form a union (one store voted against) with three more New York state locations also voting yes on a union as of April 7, Recode reports.

This all stands in the face of the corporation’s reported union busting tactics, which include the recent firing of union organizers in Arizona and Memphis; Vice reports the Arizona firing happened on April 4, the same day Starbucks interim CEO Howard Schultz reportedly told workers in a town hall meeting that Starbucks is being “assaulted” by unionization efforts, and was also said to have stated he’s “not anti-union” but instead “pro-Starbucks.”

Delivery app resold goods from businesses without permission

A food delivery app is being accused of selling baked goods from San Francisco bakeries without their knowledge, instead opting to place large orders through the shop’s online stores before listing the items for sale on its own platform, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Jane the Bakery, B. Patisserie, Midnite Bagels, Tartine, Arsicault Bakery, and Third Culture Bakery all spoke with the Chronicle detailing how they had all never entered a delivery agreement with app Popcorn, instead either finding the listings on the app themselves or learning about it when a reporter contacted them. Although some of the businesses on the app have entered a contract with Popcorn to sell their goods, others, like Amanda Michael from Jane the Bakery discovered the app was purchasing 40 baguettes from her shop before reselling them. In a statement, Popcorn said it was making its retail purchases “to test customer appetite” and as “limited time specials to spark excitement in Popcorn and these great homemade products!” It is worth noting, as the Chronicle does, that this practice could be violating federal trademark law.

Commercial Dungeness crab fishery to close this month

Whale entanglements are forcing commercial Dungeness crab fishery off the coast of California to close, the Associated Press reports. Fishery zones from the Sonoma-Mendocino county line all the way to the Oregon state line must close April 20, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Wednesday, after the department received reports of “additional” humpback whale entanglements during their migration to California. This shutdown already comes in addition to the earlier announcement that commercial crab traps from the Sonoma-Mendocino county line to the U.S.-Mexico border will shut down as of April 8.

Cookiebar Scoop Shop gets new Alameda storefront

The ice cream purveyors over at Cookiebar Scoop Shop announced they have finally found a new location, after closing the Alameda store in December. The new spot will be on Webster Street, coincidentally on the same block where the store first opened in 2013, the Instagram announcement stated.

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