Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) – Starbucks plans better benefits for some workers seeking to discourage unionization

Starbucks Corporation (NYSE: SBUX) is doing everything it can to prevent store associates from unionizing, according to a Wall Street Journal report Wednesday. This comes in the wake of concerted efforts by shop workers to form unions – trying to negotiate better wages, benefits and working conditions.

What happened: Starbuck CEO Howard Schultz, who took up the position on an interim basis in early April, is considering a comprehensive employee benefits package to hire and retain baristas. The CEO has reportedly communicated the move to the company’s US store executives in an online forum.

This pro-worker move comes with the caveat that the expanded benefits package, if implemented, will not be extended to workers in stores who voted to unionize, the Journal noted.

“Federal law requires separately negotiated contracts for the compensation and benefits of union representatives, and the company cannot unilaterally change their compensation,” Schultz said reportedly, citing the company’s legal counsel.

Schultz, who returns to the helm of the coffee chain for a third time, said the expanded benefits will likely contribute to employee turnover.

Related link: Starbucks Shares Buzz Higher After Upgrade, CEO Change: Here’s How Some Merchants Predicted The Peak

Why it matters: Since late last year, the drive to unionize at Starbucks has intensified, with about 200 of the 9,000 U.S. corporate stores petitioning for union elections, WSJ noted. The National Labor Relations Board has reportedly certified unions at eight Starbucks locations.

When workers in Buffalo, New York cafes voted to unionize late last year, the company said unionizing would disrupt relations with its workers.

“It goes against that direct relationship with our partners that has served us so well for decades and allowed us to build this great company,” Kevin Johnson, Starbucks CEO at the time, had said.

Price action: Starbucks closed Wednesday’s session up 1.42% to $80.92, according to data from Benzinga Pro.

Related Link: Starbucks To Enter NFT Business This Year, CEO Touts ‘Heritage’ Advantage

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