The labor board files a complaint against Starbucks for the dismissal of 7 workers.

The National Labor Relations Board on Friday filed a lawsuit against Starbucks for what the agency said was the unlawful firing of seven employees in Memphis in retaliation for seeking to unionize.

The labor board said the company fired the workers in February because they “joined or assisted the union and engaged in concerted activities, and to discourage employees from engaging in such activities”.

Employees are part of a union organizing spree at Starbucks in which workers voted to unionize at more than 20 stores and filed petitions to hold votes at more than 200. The company has about 9,000 locations owned by the company throughout the country.

Complaints are issued after a regional office of the labor board finds that the charges against employers or unions have merit and are brought before an administrative judge. The regional office is seeking to demand that Starbucks repair the terminated employees, such as reimbursing them for lost wages. The company could appeal an unfavorable decision to the National Labor Council in Washington.

“While we are excited about the news, we knew from the moment each of us was laid off that this would be the outcome,” Nikki Taylor, one of the laid off workers, said in a statement. “We are thrilled that the public will know the truth and get back to work at our soon to be unionized Starbucks.”

Starbucks did not immediately comment but said at the time that it fired the workers for violating safety and security policies, including allow members of the media in the store to conduct after-hours interviews and not wear a mask while meeting.

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