Starbucks said it would raise compensation for long-term staff and quadruple training for new hires as the company and its CEO, Howard Schultz, try to stave off a barista strike.
However, workers at the roughly 50 company-owned cafes that have voted to unionize will not be eligible for the improved benefits. Starbucks noted that such adjustments in unionized outlets would have to be negotiated.
“So, partners will receive these pay, benefits, and store-improvement investments at all U.S. company-operated stores where Starbucks has the right to unilaterally make these changes,” the company said in a statement. “However, at stores where workers have union representation, federal law requires good faith bargaining over wages, benefits and working conditions which prohibits Starbucks from making or announcing unilateral changes.”
During fiscal 2022, which ends in the fall, Starbucks expects to spend $1 billion on wage increases, training, and retail innovation. On his first day back at the helm, Schultz halted the company’s stock repurchase program to invest in employees and stores.