BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A local Starbucks worker is accusing the company of icing her out.
Cassie Fleischer has worked at the location on Elmwood Avenue since 2017. Fleischer told News 4 she loved her job but noticed a change once the pandemic hit.
“It kind of went to a halt. Things turned upside down, safety protocols weren’t being enforced or followed. The company as I knew it changed,” she said.
Fleischer said this is part of the reason why she became one of the leaders fighting for a union. The Elmwood store became the first company-owned Starbucks in the nation to unionize in December.
Now Fleischer believes the company is targeting her for those efforts, forcing her to choose between quitting or working more hours than she can handle after taking on a full-time job.
“Normally that would be no problem. You only need 12 hours of availability in order to be employed by Starbucks, but my manager was saying you need 20 hours minimum in order to remain a partner at the store which is a new policy – that’s never been a policy before,” Fleischer said. “I really think it has something to do with the union.”
A Starbucks spokesperson told News 4 the company will work with employees to accommodate schedule changes if it works for the store, and that Starbucks will continue conversations with Fleischer, but they cannot guarantee every request.
Fleischer said she’s willing to fight, and has filed a charge with the National Labor Relations Board.
“I’m not taking things lightly, and I’m just waiting to see where we go from here,” Fleischer said.
On Wednesday, the ballot count for three local Starbucks stores was delayed after the company appealed the National Labor Relations Board order to hold the election.
The appeal states the union was “gaming the system” by having stores vote individually instead of as an entire market.
At this point it’s unclear when the vote count for those stores will happen.