Starbucks will raise wages again, but not for union workers

Starbucks will raise wages again, but not for union workers

New York
CNN Business

Starbucks Acting CEO Howard Schultz has a message for workers interested in unionizing: If you do, you could miss out on higher wages.

The coffee chain said it would raise wages in October. Starbucks will honor those commitments to employees even if they voted to unionize, Schultz said on a call with analysts Tuesday.

But future pay rises are coming. And they won’t necessarily apply to workers in unionized stores, he said.

“Today, we’re taking further steps to modernize our vision for pay and benefits for our Partners with new investments in salaries…and in September, we’ll share additional initiatives we’re planning for Starbucks Partners. “, did he declare.

The company will invest $200 million in salaries, equipment and training, among other benefits, in addition to previously announced commitments, Schultz said. Overall, Starbucks expects to spend about $1 billion this fiscal year on employees and improving the customer experience in stores.

Workers at company-operated stores “will receive these pay and benefit increases,” he said, because Starbucks (SBUX) can control their pay.

But “we don’t have the same freedom to make these improvements in places where there is a union or where union organizing is in progress,” he said, adding that federal law “prohibits us to promise new wages and benefits at stores involved in union organizing”. ”

The first company-operated Starbucks store voted to unionize in December. Since then, about 46 stores have voted to unionize, and five have voted against. Overall, 237 company-owned stores have filed petitions with the National Labor Relations Board so far.

This is just a small fraction of the approximately 8,800 sites owned by American companies. But Starbucks is eager to stem the tide.

Schultz, who stepped into the CEO role for the third time last month, acknowledged that workers are facing “tremendous pressure” as demand grows. Sales at company-owned North American stores open at least 13 months jumped 12% in the three months ending April 3. Revenue jumped 17% in the region in the quarter. Shares of the company jumped about 5% after hours on the results.

To help, the company is offering more support on top of that higher salary. A few examples: Starting next month, the training time for new baristas will be doubled. In August, it will be the same for shift managers. It is also launching an employee app to keep workers connected.

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