“Starbucks Workers United is gradually establishing itself in the United States”

Pro-union demonstration by Starbucks employees in Seattle, United States, January 25, 2022.

lcan we imagine an employee who would spontaneously return some of his money to his employer in the hope that he would be happy with himself and not kick him out? It’s a bit like the principle of buying back shares in the stock market. A company buys its own shares and destroys them, automatically increasing its earnings per share. In theory, this practice is equivalent to the dividend to reimburse the shareholder. In theory, this should be reserved for companies that make so much money that they think it makes more sense to give it back to shareholders than to invest it themselves, not just to boost the share price.

“Interim boss”

On Monday, April 4, Starbucks boss Howard Schultz decided to suspend the massive $20 billion share repurchase program that his predecessor launched in December 2021. “I don’t do business as a Starbucks shareholder, so every decision I make is based on the share price for the quarter,” he said, specifying that he would invest this money now ” in [ses] shops and [ses] staff “† Here’s a good idea! She delighted the baristas and other servants at the chain’s cafes, even as they learned to be wary of this Howard devil, who navigates so well between social paternalism and primary anti-unionism.

Read also In the United States, the historic birth of a union in Starbucks cafes

At 68 years old, the founder of the world’s leading coffee chain, with 388,000 employees in more than 33,000 bars worldwide, is an active man who is retiring for some time. Having developed his business to the gargantuan proportions we know, he first retired in 2000, before returning in 2008 to turn the business around, then leaving again in 2016, before returning as “interim boss” this week. Cataloged social boss, he loves interacting with the workforce, pays better than the industry average, $17 in the United States with health insurance, and has even considered several times to run for the Democratic nomination for the presidential election.

Progressive Mobilization

But this forward thinks that the success of his company, which started with a neighborhood bistro, would not have been possible with rigid and demanding unions in structures often with fewer than ten employees. That same Monday, a Phoenix unionist was fired. But times have changed and the staff shortage, combined with the gradual mobilization of cafe staff, has finally paid off. The Starbucks Workers United is gradually establishing itself in the United States.

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