By Rick Sallinger

DENVER (CBS4) – The union representing Starbucks employees says the parent company is trying to overturn one of the four elections in favor of unionization in the Denver area. It was back in March when workers at a Starbucks on East Colfax at Milwaukee Street went on strike and formed a picket line.

Some time after that the store employees voted in favor of unionization. Now, the company claims that picket line may have influenced the vote.

(credit: CBS)

Ryan Dinaro was one of those there and insists there was no intimidation.

“I see it as they fired or pushed out so many union supporters they believe if they have a second chance they would win the election.”

Seeking higher wages, better security and working conditions, workers at four stores in the Denver area have now voted in favor of unionization. Hannah Mehlman works at the store at Holly and Leetsdale and supported the vote in favor of the union and claims retaliation.

“My first Monday back after winning the election they immediately put me on notice that I was under investigation for not supporting the team.”

Starbucks says any claims of anti-union activity are categorically false, adding, “From the beginning, we’ve been clear in our belief that we do not want a union between us as partners, and that conviction has not changed.”

Mehlman says the employees are closely monitored.

CBS4’s Rick Sallinger asked her, “Are you saying that smile and the friendliness are not genuine?”

“It is usually genuine, but sometimes if I am having a bad day, they say ‘doesn’t matter…smile.'”

The National Labor Relations board could order a new election at that East Colfax store if it finds in favor of Starbucks.

Rick Sallinger