Great Neck Starbucks Accused of Unfair Labor Practices After Firing Union Organizer

great neck starbucks
Starbucks at 6 Great Neck Rd., Great Neck Plaza
Courtesy Google Maps

A Great Neck Starbucks store has been accused of unfair labor practices for the firing of a shift supervisor who organized a union vote at that location.

Joselyn Chuquillanqui, 28, of Elmont, was fired on July 27 after what she describes as months of being targeted by managers, who she also claims caused the Great Neck store’s April union vote to fail. While all 11 store employees initially signed petition cards for a union vote, the vote failed 5-6.

“I had already been warning customers that I was going to get fired,” Chuquillanqui told the Press. “[Management was] trying to make an example out of me and make everyone more complacent.”

Documents obtained by the Press show that Chuquillanqui, who worked at Starbucks for seven years, was terminated for latenesses beginning in April and a July incident of misplacing a key to the store, located at 6 Great Neck Rd. in Great Neck Plaza.

Chuquillanqui claims she was only ever 3 to 10 minutes late at most, while other employees who were 30 to 45 minutes late have not been reprimanded. She also says that she informed her manager about the missing key and followed protocol until it was found.

“She hadn’t had a single writeup until April of this year, coincidentally when her store’s union vote was – and started getting written up for minor infractions (such as being 3 minutes late),” Starbucks Workers United said in a statement. “She was ultimately fired for misplacing a store key despite immediately informing her manager.” 

Screenshots of two of Chuquillanqui’s July latenesses mentioned in her termination letter show she was five and three minutes late. Starbucks Workers United has filed an unfair labor practice charge alleging “retaliatory termination for Joselyn’s union activity.”

Chuquillanqui’s firing comes after Austin Locke, a Starbucks worker and union organizer in Queens, was fired on July 5. The National Labor Relations Board has also filed complaints against Starbucks for violating workers’ rights to unionize without retaliation.

In a statement emailed to the Press, Starbucks denied the allegations of anti-union activity, calling them “categorically false.”

“A partner’s interest in a union does not exempt them from the standards we have always held,” the statement from Starbucks’ media relations said. “We will continue enforcing our policies fairly, transparently, and consistently for all partners.”

In May, union officials from Starbucks Workers United claimed that a “very intense union busting campaign” prevented Great Neck’s union vote from passing. They also said that 22 unfair labor practice allegations were filed against the location on behalf of unionizing workers.