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Starbucks must reinstate fired Tennessee workers, federal judge rules

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) — A federal judge is ordering Starbucks to reinstate seven employees in Memphis, Tennessee, who were fired earlier this year after leading an effort to unionize their store.

In a decision issued Thursday, U.S. District Judge Sheryl Lipman agreed with the National Labor Relations Board, which had asked the court to intervene in May.

Lipman’s decision requires Starbucks to offer reinstatement to the employees within five days.

The case has been among the most closely watched in the unionization effort at Starbucks. More than 220 U.S. Starbucks stores, including the Memphis store, have voted to unionize.

Starbucks opposes the unionization effort.

Mike Osborne is the News Director for WMOT and can be heard on-air daily.