retail news in context, analysis with attitude

CNBC reports that organized labor representatives are asking Starbucks to extend pay hikes and improved benefits being offered to non-union employees to those workers working in stores that have voted for unionization.

Starbucks has said no.  And not only has it said it won't, but it can't.

According to the story, "The request comes after Starbucks announced in May that it would hike wages for workers and add other benefits such as credit card tipping by late this year. But the Seattle-based coffee chain said it wouldn’t offer the enhanced benefits to workers at unionized stores because it needs to go through bargaining to make such changes."

Workers United, however, disagrees, and says that the "company can legally offer benefits to employees at unionized stores without bargaining, as long as the union agrees. The letter notes other companywide benefits announced in recent months, including faster sick time accrual and medical travel reimbursement for employees seeking abortions or gender-reaffirming care."

The CNBC story notes that "about 200 Starbucks stores have unionized so far, while 40 have voted not to unionize, according to the National Labor Relations Board. Starbucks has roughly 9,000 locations in the U.S."

KC's View:

While I've not been a fan of how Schultz has dealt with the union threat - it's been all arrogance, no humility - I think they're right on this one.  Once employees in a store have said that they want different rules to apply to them, that is the reality with which they have to live.  Now it is up to those employees to send their union reps to the table, charged with getting an equal or better deal.