We partners have had enough with our company’s intimidation and aggressive union-busting campaign. It is time for our overworked and underpaid partners to strike back!
Partners at the I-85 Starbucks in Anderson, South Carolina have dealt with numerous issues since the opening of our store three years ago—many of them being downright unethical practices and poor operations due to mismanagement and corporate greed.
We work tirelessly—especially as we feared for our health and safety through these last two years of the pandemic—to support ourselves and our loved ones. With inflation on the rise, gas prices skyrocketing, unpredictable schedules making it impossible to budget for our survival, we are barely making ends meet. Many of us are one emergency away from losing the roof over our heads, which having to support ourselves with a second or third job.
Meanwhile, during last three months of 2021 alone, Starbucks’s profit soared to a staggering $816,000,000, with revenue at $8.1 billion, up 19% from the same quarter a year previously (New York Times). Former CEO Kevin Johnson’s total compensation went up 39.3% from 2020, to $20.43 million (Nasdaq). According to the SEC filing, the CEO to Starbucks employee pay ratio is 1,579 to 1. And, upon his departure, Starbucks could afford $60 million for Kevin Johnson’s golden parachute (MarketWatch). We have yet to see a similar increase in our wages.
The discrepancy between the company’s ostensibly progressive rhetoric and treatment of workers reveals that deep down, Starbucks as a corporation is on the side of pure profits at the expense of its hard-working, dehumanized “partners”.
And partners aren’t the only ones feeling the effects of inflation. Customers are feeling the burn of rising costs as well, to which is attributed to “supply-chain disruptions” and “rising labor costs”, though these excuses amount to nothing more than “word salad to hide corporate greed,” argued historian Andy Lewis.
Moreover, Starbucks also wants us to achieve artificial metrics such as drive times and customer connection scores while not providing us with the tools for success. How can we achieve these goals of excellence if we are suffering from burnout—physically and mentally from the instability of our schedules and the economy; wages that barely provide for us; operating equipment that constantly breaks down; and corporate outright ignoring our reports and concerns, resulting in a less than optimal work environment, customer experience, and quality of life? Our urgent pleas for improvement are met with inaction, silence, and a severe lack of accountability from corporate.
Meanwhile, Starbucks plans to open 27 brand new stores in South Carolina within the next year and a half. Starbucks clearly has the money to invest in stores to appease its shareholders to demonstrate growth, but somehow not for investment towards existing partners and stores—the same partners and stores that generated profits for those shareholders in the first place.
With this in mind, we, the partners of Anderson’s 4686 Clemson BLVD I-85 Starbucks, would humbly ask for funds to provide financial relief for the income we lose as we venture forth with collective actions needed to win the workplace we deserve. We cannot build a future for ourselves with this company unless we fight to make it better.
While we are attempting to reimburse workers 100% for their lost hours while engaging in collective action, that percentage will largely depend on your contributions.
Thank you for making a difference.
Signed in Solidarity,