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Starbucks is among big chains paying workers the least

Starbucks made $1.4 Billion this year and paid its CEO Howard Schultz $16.1 Million, according to a 2012 report from the National Employment Law Project. (Linda Thomas photo)

Walmart workers aren’t the only employees who say they are making low-wages while their companies post profits and CEOs cash bonus checks.

The National Employment Law Project analyzed large companies whose employees are making minimum wage, or barely above. Overall, their 2012 report found minimum wage today is worth 30 percent less than it was in 1968.

Most of the 12 largest employers studied are national restaurant chains, such as McDonald’s, Burger King, and Starbucks. The others are national retailers, such as Wal-Mart, Target, and Sears.

Starbucks ranks seventh on their list. With a workforce of 176,533 and 12,903 stores in the U.S., Starbucks had revenue of $13.3 billion and net income of $1.4 billion. CEO Howard Schultz earned $16.1 million in compensation.

Some employees are covered by the Starbucks Union, which is part of the Industrial Workers of the World.

The Starbucks Union claims employees’ pay has “remained stagnant with smaller merit increases, our health insurance premiums have doubled, our benefits have been cut, and we have been saddled with more labor-intensive tasks like upselling VIA and other products.”

Starbucks disagrees with the assessment and considers itself to be a “progressive” employer. Starbucks is one of the few large companies that offer health benefits to part-time workers.

The majority of Starbucks baristas earn from $7.50 to $10.00 per hour.


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