Starbucks to raise wages for U.S. workers in October

Mon Jul 11, 2016 2:29pm EDT
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By Lisa Baertlein and Sruthi Ramakrishnan

(Reuters) - Starbucks Corp said it will raise worker pay in its U.S. stores this autumn, after employees accused the coffee chain of "extreme" cutbacks in work hours that they say are hurting morale and service.

The world's biggest coffee chain will increase base pay for all U.S. baristas and managers at company-operated stores by at least 5 percent starting Oct. 3, Chief Executive Howard Schultz said in a letter to employees on Monday.

Starbucks, which recently announced price increases for some drinks, also will double the annual stock reward to hourly employees who have worked at company-operated stores for at least two years.

Combined, the steps will result in a wage hike of 5 percent to 15 percent for roughly 150,000 workers in 7,600 U.S. cafes, Starbucks said.

More than 12,800 people, including many self-identified Starbucks workers, have signed an online petition laying out the employee complaints.

Beyond worries about customer service and morale, petition commenters said they were not getting enough hours to make ends meet or to afford Starbucks benefits, including healthcare and college tuition reimbursement.

CEO Schultz said the company would address scheduling concerns.

"You have my personal commitment that we will work with every partner (employee) to ensure you have the hours you need," he said.   Continued...

A Starbucks logo is seen at a Starbucks coffee shop in Vienna, Austria, June 21, 2016.    REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger