Starbucks to Raise Wages to Support Workers, Boost Recruitment Efforts


Starbucks said on Wednesday it was increasing the wages of its U.S. employees and making other changes to improve working conditions in its stores.

The Seattle-based coffee giant has said all of its U.S. workers will be making at least $ 15 – and up to $ 23 – an hour by next summer. At the end of January, employees with at least two years of service will get a 5% increase, while those with five or more years of service could receive an increase of up to 10%. Workers can also get a recruiting bonus of $ 200 to help attract new employees.

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In a letter to employees, Starbucks President for North America Rossann Williams said the wage increases not only support workers, but will strengthen recruiting efforts in a tough job market. Starbucks said it was the third time in 24 months that it had increased workers’ wages.

The action comes amid some unrest among workers for the company. Employees at three Starbucks stores in Buffalo, New York, are trying to form a union to give them more leverage on issues such as understaffing of stores and worker training. The group, Starbucks Workers United, has filed petitions with the National Labor Relations Board to seek union votes.

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Michelle Eisen, an 11-year Starbucks veteran who works at one of the Buffalo stores and supports the union effort, said Starbucks __ which turned 50 this year __ has had decades to implement pay seniority but chooses to do so only now.

“We look forward to making further improvements when we negotiate our contract,” Eisen said.

Starbucks said the union vote did not trigger the announcement. The company, which does not have a union in its 8,000 company-owned stores in the United States, said it respects workers’ right to organize but does not believe a union is necessary because of its pro-workers policy.

On Wednesday, Starbucks announced the overhaul and update of its training guide and the addition of more training time for workers. He said he also plans to test an app that will allow workers to sign up for available shifts that fit their schedule.

The company said it is also trying to streamline prep areas and reduce complexity, including testing new cold drink stations in its stores.

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