Real-world economics have hit like a slap in the face for coffee servers at Starbucks, according to a recent post on news site Western Journalism.
The grim reality is a far cry from the words of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who has said, ” … we will pay above the minimum wage in every state we operate. Starbucks is way above the minimum wage. I have always looked at total compensation.”
In fact, things are so bad that Jaime Prater, a Starbucks employee, created an online petition that has more than 9,000 signatures in an effort to get the Lords of Starbucks to hear what life has become for the baristas in the trenches.
” … the current labor practices are sinking morale at corporate stores. Baristas feel the force of the labor cuts and the gross underemployment because of the new standard. We understand that businesses have to be profitable to survive, we get it. What’s happening currently is some of the most extreme labor cuts in Starbucks history,” the petition reads.
“Morale is at the lowest I’ve seen it in my nearly 9 years of service with Starbucks. Customers feel this the most, of anyone. If this is going to change, the corporate side of the company is going to have to understand that underemploying people, while understaffing their stores, is a recipe for disaster,” the petition adds.
Starbucks is among the businesses in the retail food sector that have increased the use of technology as wages have risen, driven by the drive for a $15 per hour minimum wage in many large metro areas. Starbucks also employs a software system that sets labor needs based on how business is going.
While CEO Schultz’s words sounded nice, don’t be surprised to see workers at Starbucks replaced by coffeemaking robots in the future, following a trend taken by other food and beverage retailers hit hard by recent $15 minimum-wage demands.