Starbucks to raise pay to at least $15 an hour next year as it faces labor shortage, union challenge

Starting in January, employees who’ve been with Starbucks for at least two years could see up to a 5% raise

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The wage hike comes as Starbucks tries to fend off a unionization effort in Buffalo, New York, that, if successful, could upend the chain’s labor model. Employees say there’s been chronic under-staffing at Starbucks.

The wage hike comes as Starbucks tries to fend off a unionization effort in Buffalo, New York, that, if successful, could upend the chain’s labor model. Employees say there’s been chronic under-staffing at Starbucks.

AP file

Facing a shortage of workers and a union challenge, Starbucks says it will raise pay next year for employees in the United States.

All hourly-pay workers will make at least $15 an hour and average nearly $17 an hour by next summer, according to the Seattle-based coffee giant, which says some of the pay increases will start before then.

Starting in late January 2022, employees who’ve worked for Starbucks for at least two years could see up to a 5% raise, and those who’ve been there at least five years could get up to a 10% raise.

Including wage and benefit increases throughout the coronavirus pandemic, the company estimates the increases total “approximately $1 billion in incremental investments in annual wages and benefits over the last two years.”

Starbucks said baristas’ hourly rates — based on market and their tenure — will range from $15 an hour to $23 next summer.

The wage hike comes as Starbucks fends off a unionization effort in New York. In August, Starbucks workers from three Buffalo, New York, locations petitioned the National Labor Relations Board for a vote to unionize.

The company is trying to persuade the labor board to require that workers at all 20 Buffalo-area stores take part in the election instead of allowing stores to vote individually.

The union organizing campaign, if successful, could upend Starbucks’ labor model. Employees say there’s been chronic under-staffing at the chain.

Starbucks said it also has “invested in forecasting capabilities to improve store staffing.”

Read more at USA Today.

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