Starbucks Union Creates $1M Fund to Cover Lost Pay for Striking Baristas
The union backing organizing efforts at Starbucks is creating a $1 million fund to cover lost pay for baristas who go on strike, giving workers more firepower in their fight to unionize. The financial backing comes amid a nationwide unionization push that has already included workers at some Starbucks locations staging walkouts and strikes. Once it’s established, the strike fund could lead to more frequent and longer-lasting strikes since baristas won’t have to worry about the near-term financial repercussions. As of Tuesday, 100 Starbucks cafes have voted to unionize under Workers United, according to the National Labor Relations Board.
Total Retail's Take: Retail store and warehouse workers are increasingly seeking to unionize in spite of the objections of their employers. Workers are seeking union representation to help them address grievances related to working conditions, compensation, benefits, among other issues. In the case of Starbucks, the company has gone public with its opposition to its cafes becoming unionized, incentivizing workers by offering increased wages and additional training for employees, but only for those at non-unionized shops. Despite those efforts, momentum for unions at Starbucks and other retail organizations seems to be picking up. Already challenged by labor constraints, employees forming unions is the next human resources issue that many retailers are being confronted with. Their response is going to play a role in the future of retail work in this country.