Starbucks Inc. announced Tuesday that it has raised wages and expanded training at corporate-owned locations in the United States. But she said the changes would not apply to union stores recently, or to stores that may be in the process of forming unions, such as those where workers have petitioned for union elections.
On a call with investors to discuss the company’s quarterly earnings, CEO Howard Schultz said the spending would bring investments in workers and stores to nearly $1 billion for the fiscal year and that it would help Starbucks keep pace with customer traffic.
“The investments will enable us to address growing demand – and achieve increased profitability – while delivering a superior experience to our customers and reducing pressure on our partners,” said Mr. Schultz, using the company’s term for employees.
The initiative was announced as the union won initial votes in more than 50 Starbucks stores, including several this week.
Pay increases follow a commitment Raising the company’s minimum hourly wage to $15 this summer would include an increase of at least 5 percent for employees with two to five years of experience, or a 5 percent increase above the initial market wage rate, whichever is greater.
Employees with more than five years of experience will receive at least a 7 percent increase, or a 10 percent increase over the starting wage in their market, whichever is greater.
The company will also increase the salaries of store managers.
The plans also call for a doubling of training hours for new baristas, as well as additional training for existing baristas and shift supervisors.
In a formal charge filed with the National Labor Relations Board, the union representing newly unionized Starbucks workers — United Workers, a subsidiary of Service Employees International — has Accused Company coercion of employees who were voting in union elections by suggesting They will block new benefits if they join unions.
The company said it is legally prohibited from enforcing unilateral increases in wages and benefits at stores where employees are or will soon vote for unions. She indicated that she must bargain with the union about any changes in pay or benefits.
But labor law experts said it might be illegal to withhold wages and benefits from only unionized employees or employees who vote in a union.
Matthew Boddy, a former Labor Council attorney who studies law at St. Louis University, said the announced wage increases could illegally pollute the so-called laboratory conditions that are supposed to prevail during union elections by giving employees an incentive not to join unions.
“If Starbucks said, ‘Stop the union campaign and you’ll get this pay raise and better benefits,’ it obviously would be illegal,” Boddy said by email. “It’s hard to see how this differs much in practice.”
Mr Bode said pay increases could also amount to a breach of the company’s obligation to bargain in good faith because it suggested an intent to give unionized employees a worse deal than non-union employees. They will at least have to present this package to the guild,” Mr. Bode added.
Starbucks spokesman Reggie Burgess did not say whether the company would make the same proposals announced Tuesday in negotiations with union workers, but said, “Where Starbucks is required to engage in collective bargaining, Starbucks will always negotiate in good faith.”
Starbucks also said it plans to post flyers in stores to keep employees informed, as the company says the outcome of collective bargaining is uncertain and risky. “Through collective bargaining, wages, benefits and working conditions may improve, decrease or remain the same,” says one of the information sheets to be published in stores.
Such messages are common among employers facing union campaigns, but Labor experts say it’s misleading Because workers are unlikely to see a reduction in their compensation as a result of collective bargaining.
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