Report: Starbucks union asks company to extend recent benefits to unionized stores

Marianne Wilson
Marianne Wilson profile picture

Labor organizers representing Starbucks' unionized employees are speaking up. 

Starbucks Workers United wrote a letter to Starbucks interim CEO Howard Schultz in which the group said that Starbucks can legally offer benefits to employees at unionized stores without bargaining, as long as the union agrees, reported CNBC. which obtained a copy of the letter. To date, approximately 200 of Starbucks's approximately 9,000 U.S. stores have voted to unionize.

In May, Starbucks announced a new round of pay hikes and other benefits for employees that included the average hourly wage going up $17 per hour, and a 7% pay increase to employees with more than five years of experience. But it said the new benefits will not apply to workers at the locations that have voted to unionize. Such changes at unionized stores would have to come through bargaining, the retailer noted.

“Workers United refuses to stand by while Starbucks cynically promises new benefits only to non-unionized workers and withholds them from our members,” Lynne Fox, president of Workers United, stated in the letter, which was sent to Schultz last month,  the report said. 

According to labor lawyers, the case could wind up before an administrative law judge at the National Labor Relations Board.