Starbucks Employees Treated Badly

While Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) CEO and founder Howard Schultz barnstorms America with one new program to help Americans after another, a new report shows his company continues to treat many of its employees badly.

According to research released by experts at the Center for Popular Democracy:

A 2015 nationwide survey of Starbucks workers reveals that the company is not living up to its commitment to provide predictable, sustainable schedules to its workforce. Starbucks’ frontline employees bear the brunt of the management imperative to minimize store labor costs, which takes precedence over attempts to stabilize work hours, provide healthy schedules, and to ensure employees have real input into their working conditions.


Many Starbucks scheduling policies fail to reflect the company’s human-focused values, while other policies designed to promote sustainable schedules have been implemented inconsistently.

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According to a recent report from 24/7 Wall St. titled Companies Paying Americans the Least:

Coffee giant Starbucks employs roughly 141,000 people in the United States at more than 7,300 locations. Because the coffee chain offers some benefits not commonly offered in low-paying jobs, it has long been considered the ideal job for young students supporting themselves or even single parents. However, an increasing number of reports suggest the famous Seattle company makes life difficult for its employees. Of particular note is the company’s increasing use of complicated and inconsistent scheduling, a practice also used by many other major retailers. This practice means that baristas’ hours may be posted with little notice, preventing them from making other plans, and therefore nearly denying them the ability to earn extra income from other sources.

The work hours, benefit problems and low pay challenges face many employees at large food chains and major retailers, but none of those places has a chief executive who publicly advocates the right of many of America’s most economically challenged people. Among the most recent was Schultz’s effort to support hiring the underprivileged in Phoenix:

“Chicago marked an important milestone in our efforts to put America’s underserved youth on a pathway to employment,” said Howard Schultz, chairman and chief executive officer of Starbucks and co-founder of the Schultz Family Foundation. “As we look ahead to Phoenix, where one in five youth is not in school or employed, we have a critical opportunity to accelerate our collective hiring efforts and create meaningful lifelong opportunities for all. I truly believe that these young men and women represent the most significant untapped source of productivity and talent for our economy, and America’s leading companies are ready to hire them.”

If one of these young people gets a job at Starbucks, the “meaningful lifelong opportunities” may not be much of an opportunity at all.

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