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Ex-barista alleges this major coffee chain is withholding tips from unionized workers

The creator on TikTok claimed that Union Stores are yet to receive benefits like credit card tipping
PUBLISHED JUN 29, 2024
Starbucks, which owns and operates about 10,000 stores across the country, has been fighting the union for several years now. Getty Images | Photo by Mario Tama
Starbucks, which owns and operates about 10,000 stores across the country, has been fighting the union for several years now. Getty Images | Photo by Mario Tama

About 400 Starbucks stores representing over 10,000 workers in the U.S. have unionized since 2021. Arguing for the welfare of workers, the unionized stores have demanded a fair contract. The two sides have even held nationwide talks to create a contract framework. However, one ex-employee and a content creator on TikTok has alleged that Starbucks is illegally punishing stores and workers for unionizing. Meghin (@ex_barista) shared a video alleging that Starbucks has been withholding tips for workers at unionized stores.

Screenshots from the video | TikTok | @ex_barista
Screenshots from the video | TikTok | @ex_barista

 

In the video, the creator replied to one user who asked “Hey why can’t Union Starbucks receive tips?” on one of her previous posts. Meghin took the opportunity to share what’s going on and the harsh reality that unionized stores are reportedly facing.

The creator alleged that union stores aren’t getting tips because “Starbucks has been illegally withholding that benefit” for almost two years. She then goes on to explain that in May 2022, then-CEO Howard Schultz announced that the company would be releasing more benefits for new partner stores. Among the benefits were credit card tipping, a less strict dress code, and inclusive size aprons for all workers.

However, Meghin claims that it wasn’t Starbucks’ original idea and they stole the benefits ideas from the contract that the union had proposed. Back in 2021, the creator says she was one of the partners who helped construct the union contract, thus she knows that Starbucks stole the ideas from that.

Screenshots from the video | TikTok | @ex_barista
Screenshots from the video | TikTok | @ex_barista

She then alleged that Starbucks didn’t give the benefits to the union partners in an attempt to punish them and keep new partner stores from organizing. Meghin further says that this did not work as now the union and Starbucks are getting together to discuss a framework for collective bargaining.

Since the development, the creator says Starbucks had announced that in good faith, it gives union stores credit card tips. However, the union stores were still waiting to get the benefit, as of June, according to a Pix11 report.

Screenshots from the video | TikTok | @ex_barista
Screenshots from the video | TikTok | @ex_barista

The comment section of the ex- barista’s video was filled with workers who voiced several more concerns. “I’ve been working at a union Starbucks for 4 years and only recently got a raise of 10 cents from the minimum. Just for the minimum wage to be increased in June so I’ll be getting minimum again,” wrote one user @fifiorella._.

Screenshot from the comments | TikTok | @katherineso3
Screenshot from the comments | TikTok | @katherineso3

Meanwhile, several customers showered support for the unionized workers as well. “before October I used to drive 30 minutes to go to the union store closest. I'm rooting for you guys!!!! I worked at Starbucks for 2 years,” added one user @ihatecops69.

Screenshot from the comments | TikTok | @enduringevtron
Screenshot from the comments | TikTok | @enduringevtron

Starbucks, which owns and operates about 10,000 stores across the country, has been fighting the union for several years now. In 2022, seven employees of Starbucks in Memphis attempted to unionize their store. In retaliation, Starbucks fired them which led to the National Labor Relations Board filing a complaint against Starbucks.

The company argued that the workers were fired as they let a TV crew into a store, which violated their policies. Earlier this month, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of Starbucks, dismissing the merit of the complaint.  Experts argue that this could be a landmark decision that can further aid companies to stifle unionizing efforts, as per an NPR report.

For more such content and information, follow Meghin (@ex_barista) on TikTok.

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