NEW YORK: Starbucks announced a series of measures for its employees on Tuesday, including a pay rise, as the group experienced a unionization event, in which the emblematic boss gave a request.
The coffee chain is expanding the range of wage increases it has announced before and that provides in particular that the minimum wage will be increased to $ 15 per hour on Aug. 1 in the United States.
This more ambitious wage increase, combined with the branch’s transformation plan, will benefit from an additional $ 200 million envelope, bringing dedicated spending by 2022 to one billion dollars.
These announcements come at a time when the Seattle (State of Washington) company is facing a wind of unionization unprecedented in its history.
In total, since the end of 2021, employees of 250 cafes in the chain have begun forming a union, according to Starbucks Workers United, which federates the movement.
As many as 47 trade union branches have already been formed after the election.
During the conference call presenting the results, emblematic boss Howard Schultz, who took over the reins in early April, explained at length why he was opposed to the union approach within the company.
“These young people have valid concerns,” says the 60-year-old. “They see this new union organizing activity as a possible solution.”
“However”, he continued, “we have a very different approach and a more positive vision for our company, based on listening, communication and collaboration”.
“Our values are not and have not been the result of interference from an entity outside” the company, meaning that the union’s aspirations are not instilled in employees, but in people outside the company.
“Negotiations in good faith”
Howard Schultz said Starbucks plans to introduce new employee-friendly initiatives in September, such as the ability to tip when ordering online or a revenue-sharing system, which he did not clarify. the operation.
The entrepreneur, who has left the group twice, in 2000 and 2017, before returning to it each time, pointed out that these new provisions can only be applied to non-union cafes.
The changes will not, in fact, apply unilaterally if there is a union, where negotiations must first be made.
The information, if it only remembers the texts being executed, could serve as another argument to prevent Starbucks employees from organizing together.
Howard Schultz, who has expressed his desire to leave his post in the fourth quarter of 2022, nevertheless promised to “negotiate in good faith” with the unions.
On Tuesday, the American takeaway coffee giant also published its results for the first quarter of 2022, with revenue of $ 7.6 billion, in line with expectations and up 14% in the first three months of the year. year 2022, which corresponds to the second quarter of the group’s staggered accounting year.
The sharp increase in its costs, whether for goods or wages, severely damaged margins, and net profit rose only 2% to $ 674 million.
Reported in action, the indicator most followed by Wall Street, the number is in line with analysts ’predictions.
Sales outside North America slowed sharply by 8%, largely driven by a 23% decline in China on the same basis, which Starbucks explained primarily in lockouts to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. . About 16% of the group’s cafes are located in China.
The group anticipates disruptions in China in the second quarter of 2022 and beyond, prompting it not to publish forecasts for the current financial year.
To compensate, the chain was able to count on the dynamism of North America, whose sales rose 12%, also on a preferred basis, thanks to rising prices and better attendance.
However, the company suffered from a compression of its margins due, in part, to wage increases, in part linked to tensions in the American labor market.
It seeks to accelerate its growth in the United States, particularly by opening “drive-in” points of sale, where customers are served their car.