We hate to break it to you but although you may love your Starbucks, things are not as perfect as they seem. A petition started in late June by a Starbucks barista has now reached more than 10,000 signatures from employees. Its message? That the Seattle-based coffee giant is “killing morale” nationwide. Jaime Prater, the man who started the petition on Coworker.org last week says workers are struggling to make ends meet after “some of the most extreme labor cuts in Starbucks history,” going on to say that “morale is at the lowest I’ve seen it in my nearly nine years of service with Starbucks.”
Prater and other critics say the mega franchise which, in comparison to it’s competitors, still takes care of it’s employees in, is trying to save money after disappointing revenue numbers are being revealed from earlier this year. Stores are being understaffed to cut labor expenses, and the raises and promotions workers used to get twice a year now might come once.
All of this is justifying that whole price-hike thing, but the petition claims that things have gone from “tight to infuriating,” leading Prater to preface the petition with this:
Labor has been cut so much in corporate stores, that one call-off (an employee calling in sick) impacts the entire day, as managers are directed to cut shifts to save on labor costs. Baristas trying to work more than 25 hours a week (myself included) find that a near impossible task. You end up taking it personally, when corporate directs your stores to understaff, and under schedule. You wonder if they realize how difficult it is to pay your bills when you work 25 hours a week?
Bonuses, personal days and sick days, were legally not required, are also getting bumped. But Starbucks isn’t the only deep-pocket at fault here. The petition also claims that with the up trend of gift cards and loyalty programs, tips are slipping as well.
Prater has told Reuters he’s feeling good after chairman and CEO of Starbucks, Howard Schultz, called and asked how he could “make it right.” If there’s any silver lining here, it’s that a giant perk of living in the digital age means getting a CEO on the phone without doing a lot of legwork.