Press Release

AFL-CIO Warns of Chilling Effect on Journalistic Freedom, Worker Organizing if Wrongheaded Court Decision Isn’t Overturned on Appeal

Statement from AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler on the Starbucks case that threatens freedom of the press and workers’ right to join a union: 

The AFL-CIO strongly condemns last month’s ruling by an appointee of Donald Trump in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York that would allow large corporations like Starbucks to infringe on both the rights of workers to join a union without retaliation or intimidation, and journalistic freedom protected under the First Amendment. 

The ability of journalists to report the facts on corporate union-busting while protecting sources is essential. In this case, when the National Labor Relations Board asked a federal court to immediately stop Starbucks’ illegal actions to prevent workers from organizing a union, the company used the legal proceeding to attempt to pry into the union’s communications with workers and the media.  

If this ruling is allowed to stand, it opens the door for corporations to engage in abusive tactics that would chill worker organizing and limit the ability of journalists to report on issues of great importance.  

We strongly urge that this wrongheaded ruling be overturned on appeal to protect the freedom of the press and workers’ right to join a union.   

Contact: Steve Smith, 202-637-5018