Starbucks Corp. announced on November 19 that the multinational chain will increase wages for most of its employees within the United States.
Effective on December 14, all baristas, shift supervisors, and cafe attendants hired before the cutoff date of September 14 in the United States, will see a 10% increase in wages. The select few employees working with the company for more than a three-year span get a 1% extra bonus to this increase. The move will also offer a 5% pay increase to all starting rates.
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Starbucks has been known to be quite flexible when it comes to employee leave. It supported hardship grants, childcare, and distance-learning support for workers in financial instability due to the pandemic. Since July 2018, Starbucks has allowed staff to get paid sick leaves including health care support. The company also announced shortly after the lockdown was effective that workers would be paid to stay at home if they felt unsafe to work.
Despite the work Starbucks has done to assess the pandemic, many workers have put in a petition to receive a $15 minimum wage increase. Workers have reported unsafe working conditions around unmasked customers and anxiety being essential workers as the pandemic continues to bombard the nation. In an interview from Business Insider, Jay Josef, a nine-year-long employee of Starbucks says, “If we’re labeled as essential workers, we should get paid essential. That’s why [we want] a $15 minimum wage increase.”
Joe Biden’s victory offers hope for the $15 minimum wage plan. The new President-elect has stated that this act is vital in order to boost the wage of restaurant and cafe workers. However, after Republican victories in the Senate, that possibility is beginning to decline.
The State of California has a minimum wage of $13 per hour for employers with more than 26 employees and $12 for employers with less than 25 employees. Santa Clara County, however, has a minimum wage of $15.40 per hour.
The future holds a lot of uncertainty for Starbucks, and will eventually determine how the $15 pay raise will affect the multinational conglomerate or not.
Sources: ABC News, CNBC News, Business Insider, City of Santa Clara