Starbucks says it’ll negotiate with Buffalo, New York staff

Members react during the Starbucks union vote in Buffalo, New York, the United States, on December 9, 2021.

Lindsay DeDario | Reuters

Starbucks plans to negotiate in good faith with workers at its Elmwood, Buffalo, New York business, the company said Monday, days after the workers’ votes were confirmed to form the coffee chain’s first U.S. union.

In a letter to all US partners, Rossann Williams, Starbucks EPP North America, said the company’s belief that it does not want a union “between us as partners” has not changed, but has respected legal process.

“That means we’ll be negotiating in good faith with the union representing partners in the one Buffalo deal that voted for union representation. We hope that union representatives will also come to the table with mutual good faith, respect, and positive intent. ”Williams wrote.

Earlier this month, the workers at Elmwood Location voted for union formation, a first for the company since going public decades ago. A second vote at a nearby coffee shop was in Starbucks’ favor, while the results of a third were not finalized that day as both sides questioned the balance sheet. Last week the union officially opened questioned the results in the two branches.

The drive for unions is also spreading across the country. Baristas in two Boston cafes registered for union elections Late last week. Other stores in Buffalo and in Mesa, Arizona are also planning to join forces with Starbucks Workers United, a subsidiary of the Service Employees International Union. The more successful businesses are, the easier it is for workers to bargain collectively with the coffee giant. The two sides do not have to agree on a contract.

Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson recently told CNBCs Jim Cramer that he expects a handful of additional businesses that need to be unionized.

The union push has generally met with strong opposition from Starbucks management. In Buffalo and Mesa, the company has sent executives to what organizers have called “union busting.” Starbucks denies all allegations of attempting to intimidate workers. The company has stated since the beginning of the process that it believes the entire Buffalo market should have polled 20 stores.

Baskin: extra county cash, accountability for Buffalo anti-violence teams wanted

The Erie County’s Legislative Chair is proposing training and data collection for nonprofits working to curb violence in the city of Buffalo.

BUFFALO, NY – The increase in gunfights and killings in Buffalo is a major concern for any elected official representing the city.

That certainly applies to April Baskin. Their Erie County Legislature District includes the east and west sides of Buffalo, which have the most violent neighborhoods.

But for Baskin it’s also very personal.

“My first cousin, Marcus Robinson, stopped on April 24th to get some refueling. A couple of guys drove up and killed him, ”Baskin said.

The crime scene is across from Baskin’s district office on East Delavan Avenue. The case remains unsolved.

To help defuse disputes that can escalate into violence, there are a number of nonprofit groups operating in Buffalo. These include Peacemakers, Mad Dads of Greater Buffalo, Stop the Violence Coalition, and The Fathers.

Baskin, as chairman of the county legislature, wants them to receive county funding, but with constraints and questions.

“Solving these problems isn’t just about dumping money into programming or just writing checks. What grants do the members of these groups receive? What kind of work do you do? ”Baskin asked in a recent interview with 2 On Your Side.

Baskin put together a proposal that she calls the Erie County Gun Violence Relief Alliance. She wants to support the work of these anti-violence groups with district money in a certain way.

The proposal calls for $ 500,000 to train members of these groups in peer mediation, conflict resolution, and trauma-informed care. And she wants another $ 300,000 to be spent on a software system to analyze data collected by the anti-violence groups to show “the results of their … contact”.

If that sounds like Baskin wants to see the county get results in exchange for their money, this is exactly what they are looking for. 2 On Your Side asked Baskin what she would say to groups who might be afraid of being judged in this way.

Her answer: “If we are to do the job and improve the results, there should be no need to be reluctant or concerned. But those who disagree with the type of structure I am proposing should perhaps question their opposition. Anyone who opposes this means that they are reluctant to get better results and so there is no longer any room for them to act in this area. “

Pastor James Giles agrees.

Giles heads the Back to Basics Ministry, which oversees Peacemakers, the best known of the local anti-violence groups. He says other government sources of funding for peacemakers already require various records of achievement.

But Giles wants a voice in evaluating his group because he says elected officials are often unaware of the depth of the work involved in deterring violence.

“I rarely see one of them at funerals. They don’t actively engage with the players or with the gangs. They don’t know who the gangs are. They don’t know why they’re shooting You don’t hang out in the clubs where there are fights. I don’t see them in clubs out there on Chippewa. So it is really hard for you to determine measurements for me. ”

Baskin says she discussed her proposal with Erie County’s executive director, Mark Poloncarz, who earlier this year described gun violence as a county public health crisis, indicating more county spending on the issue.

However, Baskin insists that any increase in funding comes with collecting data to know what the county is getting in return.

“We’re going to be doing more with funding and we’re going to be giving a lot more, but when we do we will have a transparent process to understand that it is having an effect,” Baskin said.

State cash earmarked for ‘boots on the bottom’ efforts to curb Buffalo gun violence

BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) – Four Buffalo state lawmakers are pouring more money onto the streets of Queen City to curb violence. On Tuesday, Senators Tim Kennedy and Sean Ryan and Reps Crystal Peoples-Stokes and Jon Rivera announced that $ 200,000 raised during the state budget process has been allocated to Buffalo Peacemakers and the Stop the Violence Coalition.

“This money will go a long way in helping the peacemakers and stopping the violence to create just that: peace,” said Senator Kennedy.

Peace is urgently needed. According to the Erie County District Attorney’s Office, there were 49 homicides in Buffalo as of Tuesday, 2021. With that, the city is on track to hit a record 94 murders from 1994.

Pastor James Giles, who heads Back to Basics Ministries, said the state money would be used to hire people to provide local community involvement.

“We’re not looking for administrative stuff. We have administrative help, ”said Giles. “We’re looking for boots on the ground.”

Meanwhile, James P. Kennedy, the US attorney for the Western District of New York, is preparing to meet with staff from the Stop the Violence Coalition and Back to Basics on Wednesday to discuss efforts to reduce gun violence. Kennedy has already announced the creation of a task force to aim to reduce violence through more targeted enforcement and state law enforcement.

US Attorney Kennedy says it is critical that the community understand the goal.

“We target members of the community for their behavior and these extreme acts of violence,” Kennedy said. “There’s a reason law enforcement can focus there because that’s where the violence takes place.”

The meeting will take place on Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. in the Back to Basics office on William St. Members of the community are very welcome.

Chris Horvatits is an award-winning presenter and reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2017. See more of his work Here.

Buffalo training board member: Cash spent on cybersecurity overview earlier than ransomware assault

The district has worked to determine the depth of the intrusion, which files and online systems were affected, and how best to restore operations.

BUFFALO, NY – Another long day of collaboration with information technology, cybersecurity advisors, and the FBI was for the Buffalo School District as they tried to recover from Friday’s ransomware attack that shut down their computer systems with a payment request. Your files appear to have been encrypted and the hacker wants to be paid to give the district access again.

The district has worked to determine the depth of the intrusion, which files and online systems were affected, and how best to restore operations.

It obviously hits hard with the COVID that causes distance learning and the cancellation of all classes in person and remotely on Friday and Monday. This is particularly disappointing as the district attempted to resume classes for grades 3, 4, 9, and 11 as phase two of its reopening plan.

Ironically, board member Terrance Heard, chair of the educational support committee, said the panel became aware of some potential cyber threats, including some from suspected child abuse, during the Christmas break and weeks after. According to Heard, on March 10, just days before the attack began, the committee requested a further review of the district’s cybersecurity policies and agreements.

Heard says they worked right.

“I think our cybersecurity, the platforms we use now were top notch – you know what we paid, but somehow something got through,” said Heard.

Holly Hubert is a former FBI Buffalo Office agent who specializes in cybercrime and now runs her own Amherst-based company called GlobalSecurity IQ. According to Hubert, ransomware attacks are nothing new and increased about seven or eight years ago, but they have become even more sophisticated.

“It’s a whole new world now,” said Hubert. “And companies essentially have to spend money that they would not normally spend on safety and prevention measures.”

However, James Page, chief information officer of the New York State School Board Association, points out that “school districts do little for hackers” because they do not have the corporate finance to properly monitor and manage cybersecurity. He believes it is best for them to work with a private computer system surveillance company to detect and possibly prevent such attacks. Some actually run penetration tests to see how secure a system really is.

We should point out that Hubert told us on Monday that she was busy taking calls from other school districts in West New York that feared they could also be hit by a ransomware attack like Buffalo.

Last year we reported that both ECC and Niagara University were exposed to ransomware threats. And one of the most famous incidents of this type happened on the ground in 2017 when the ECMC fell victim. Hubert worked with the FBI on the case and says the hacker or hackers broke into the hospital’s network through a remote desktop system connection when an employee mistakenly opened a fake phishing email attachment.

Hubert realizes that it is not yet clear to what extent the school district is affected, but says, “I think you need to clean all workstations and laptops – anything that was infected you need to do some cleaning and imaging.”

According to reports, the ECMC spent millions of dollars demolishing and rebuilding their entire system rather than just paying ransom to regain access to their vital information.

“You were criticized at the time for taking so long to come back,” said Hubert. “But that was absolutely the right strategy in retrospect, because we now know that other organizations in the US were affected by the same group as ECMC and that there were organizations that paid for the ransomware that did not receive the decryption key.”

Hubert also warns that if the hacker leaves malware or other code in the BPS system that could be reactivated, new attacks could occur. So sometimes a reconstruction is necessary.

Back in the school district, 2 On Your Side asked board member Heard why they had waited until recently to recheck their system a few days before an actual attack. He replied, “We were aware of the threats. Technology is always changing and we’ve spent a lot of money in the past since I served on the cybersecurity board for our schools and districts. This has been an ongoing battle for home security. You have to Update your security and of course the firewalls. In a district like Buffalo – over 34,000 college students – you see a bigger firewall and a bigger threat for things to sneak into. “

BPS Superintendent Dr. Kriner Cash published a letter Monday evening saying the school could restore “devices, systems and applications” to most buildings. As of Monday afternoon, 54 of 67 locations reported “no interference with the Internet or wireless systems”.

The school district says all district and school employees are expected to report back Tuesday and Wednesday. In the meantime, students stay home on Tuesday and have a full day of distance learning on Wednesday.

According to Cash, a message will be sent from each school to each student’s homes on Tuesday telling them when they can sign up for “office hours” so they can learn the new “sign up process” and participate in asynchronous learning.