Starbucks Article

In: Business and Management

Submitted By raghul
Words 436
Pages 2
News Paper Article

Date of Publication: August 18, 2009, 7:30 am

Source: The New York Times.
Starbucks Workers Protest Rise in Health Premiums
By A. G. SULZBERGER
Mario Tama/Getty Images At a picket organized by the Industrial Workers of the World, Starbucks employees and their supporters protested a rise in their out-of-pocket health care expenses.
Updated, 2 p.m. | Saying it spends nearly as much on health insurance for its workers as it does on coffee, Starbucks recently announced that it would increase the amount that eligible employees need to contribute to keep their health care coverage.
On Monday evening, newly unionized Starbucks baristas gathered at the company’s regional headquarters in Manhattan to protest the move, which they said would effectively double the cost of their health insurance.
The change would increase the cost of the most basic plan to $20 from $12.50 each paycheck and the annual sign-up cost to $200 from $100, according to Liberte Locke, a barista who has been active in unionization efforts with the Industrial Workers of the World.
“If they’re going to charge us this amount, our pay needs to increase,” she said. She added that a growing number of employees were ineligible for the health insurance because they worked fewer than 20 hours a week.
A Starbucks spokesman said in a statement that the protest was the work of “a small group of people with an outside agenda aimed at promoting itself and its interest.”
The coffee company has battled with the union repeatedly, and in December, the National Labor Relations Board judge ruled that Starbucks had illegally fired three baristas and otherwise violated federal labor laws at several of its nearly 600 locations in New York City, in an effort to halt the unionization efforts.
A letter to all employees from Starbucks’s chief executive, Howard Schultz, dated July 27,…...

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