Starbucks Fires Union Organizer Lexi Rizzo days after Howard Schultz Senate grilling

Starbucks fired a longtime union organizer just two days after Howard Schultz, the billionaire former CEO, was grilled at a Senate hearing about the company’s illegal union-busting campaign.

Lexi Rizzo led the campaign at a Starbucks in Buffalo that was one of the first to hold a successful union referendum, launching a movement that has spread across the country and involved thousands of Starbucks workers.

Rizzo — who had worked for the company for seven years, according to a GoFundMe — was fired from her job as a shift supervisor on Friday, according to Buffalo News.

Rizzo was canned for repeatedly being late to work, Starbucks told the outlet. The union, Starbucks Workers United, said Rizzo̵[ads1]7;s firing is “retaliation at its worst.” Two other pro-union workers were also fired, the union said.

“I’ve given every ounce of everything I have to this company,” Rizzo said in an emotional video posted to TikTok, “My heart is broken.”

Rizzo went on to take aim at Schultz, who appeared before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee last Wednesday.

“You are a heartless monster and I don’t know how you sleep at night,” she said of Schultz, “you have hundreds of thousands of people giving everything they have so you can make another dollar. And then you treat us like if we are dirt.”

Democratic senators last week confronted Schultz on eight rulings by administrative judges at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that Starbucks had committed 130 labor violations since the union campaign began in Buffalo in December 2021. Schultz denied that the company had broken the law.

Last month, an NLRB administrative judge found that Starbucks had committed “egregious and widespread” labor law violations when it fired six pro-union workers in Buffalo and Rochester. The company was ordered to hire and compensate the workers.

“Starbucks has waged the most aggressive and illegal anti-union campaign in our country’s modern history,” Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) said as he opened the hearing. “This union-busting campaign has been led by Howard Schultz.”

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