Union workers at Victoria Starbucks 'furious' after wage increases did not extend to site

Union workers at Victoria Starbucks ‘furious’ after wage increases did not extend to site

Workers at Starbucks in Victoria called for Starbucks Canada after they said the company refused to extend wage increases to union employees at the Douglas Street site.

Employees at the auto shop, located at 3180 Douglas Street, say they are “furious” after they received a letter telling them they would not receive a pay rise, benefits and training that was being offered to other locations around the country.

A statement sent from the United Steelworkers Federation – the union that represents workers at Douglas Street Starbucks – states that at the beginning of May, employees received an email from Laurie DiGula, Starbucks’ senior vice president and general manager, saying there would be a pay increase for all retail partners across each country. County and each role starts this summer.

According to the union, this email was followed up with an email to Douglas Street employees informing them that they will not be receiving partner investments because they are a union-affiliated store.

Workers say the store has since emailed a response to Digulla, expressing disappointment at Starbucks’ refusal to include unionized store “partners” (employees) and calling on the coffee giant to do the right thing by extending a wage increase to them.

“We are pleased to see Starbucks taking steps to address the inability of many to provide a comfortable life. We agree that our work is worth more and that higher wages will help us live with dignity and create the best moments with our customers,” said the partners in the Douglas Street store.

Starbucks assured us that they would respect our choice to form unions. We feel that not agreeing with the union to extend the wage increase to our store does not respect our choice. We understand and agree that the collective bargaining agreement must be respected. That’s why there is a provision to allow bilateral agreements for things like extending a wage increase to our store.”

In an emailed statement to CHEK News, Carly Suppa Clark, Starbucks Coffee Company’s public affairs officer, said any changes to the collective bargaining contract would occur before the current contract expires.

“From the beginning, we have been clear in our belief that we are better together as partners, without a union at Starbucks, and that this conviction has not changed. We continue to respect our partners’ right to regulate or not to regulate, and we will honor this process,” Sopa Clark said.

“In June 2021, Starbucks reached a 3-year collective bargaining agreement with the United Steel Workers (USW) union representing employees at its Douglas Street location in Victoria, British Columbia. Since then, Starbucks has fulfilled all obligations of this contract, including increases Annual negotiated., which are exclusive to the Douglas Street Partners, as agreed between the partners and USW Any changes to the contract will be negotiated by both parties in the next round of bargaining, which we expect to begin in the months before the contract expires in June 2024.”

The Douglas Street store has voted to return to union in the summer of 2020, and has voted to become part of United Steelworkers District 3, which represents more than 50,000 workers in western Canada.

The Douglas Street store, owned by Starbucks, was also the first location in western Canada to join unions, and in the past two years, more than 50 Starbucks stores in North America have voted to join the unions.

Despite its success in joining unions, the Douglas Street store feels that Starbucks Canada has engaged in “anti-union tactics” to dissuade other employees from following the suit.

“What we see from Starbucks is nothing more than retaliation from their workers for joining a union. Every worker has the right to join a union without fear of retaliation or harassment from their employer,” said Scott Looney, director of USW Western Canada.

“There are no reasons not to extend these investments to our members of the Douglas Street department store in Victoria. We have language in the collective agreement, negotiated by the parties, which allows for changes deemed necessary by mutual agreement between the employer and the union, at any time, during the term of the agreement.”

The union claims it asked Starbucks Canada to mutually agree to extend the partners’ investment to Douglas Street workers, and the request was denied.

Lunny says they’re calling on Starbucks to “do the right thing” and extending the pay increases to the Victorian Union Store, adding that employees are willing to meet with management to seal a deal.

“We know our members work hard and contribute like no other partner in any other store across Canada and should be treated with the respect they deserve,” added Lunny.

CHEK has reached out to Starbucks Canada for comment on the status of the Douglas store and is currently awaiting a response.

Editing Policies Report an error

2022-05-30 19:50:07

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.