Last reinstated member of ‘Memphis 7′ completes first shift back

Published: Oct. 23, 2022 at 2:50 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Nikki Taylor was emotional on Saturday after she wrapped up her first shift back at the Starbucks on Poplar and Highland.

”Working my first shift today brought tears of joy... I never thought I would cry,” she said.

Taylor was one of the seven employees fired from that location in February after announcing their intentions and efforts to unionize.

Starbucks says they were fired for violating “safety and security policies,” in part for allowing an Action News 5 crew into the store after hours.

In August, a judge ruled that the coffee giant had illegally fired the workers and ordered they must be rehired.

Taylor was the last member of the “Memphis 7” to be fully rehired.

After completing her first shift back at the East Memphis location, she was greeted by Starbucks employees from across the country who are still fighting the battle to unionize.

“The Memphis 7 were the first instance of us hearing about retaliation and we were in the middle of organizing,” said employee Jayson Saxton.

Saxton says the Starbucks location in Augusta, Georgia, was in the middle of organizing a union when the news of the Memphis 7 broke.

He says fear put the store back a little, but the Georgia location still came out on the other side.

Today, Saxton’s store is still fighting for its union contract, but seeing the Memphis 7 fully reinstated and unionized is encouraging.

“Wins like this are huge because it gives us a little bit of hope,” he said.

Hope is also something Taylor says she’s holding on to for the company as a whole.

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