ST. LOUIS — A wave of union efforts that is sweeping Starbucks cafes across the country has reached South City.
Workers at two stores in the Northhampton and Clayton-Tamm boroughs announced Monday they would file papers with the federal government calling for union elections, joining colleagues in Ladue and Bridgeton who filed last week.
The four groups join others at more than 100 of the 9,000 Starbucks company-owned stores that have sought representation in recent months in order to secure better wages and working conditions. Her push coincides with a tight labor market bolstering her bargaining power and broader efforts to increase union ranks amid a pandemic that has cast a spotlight on the image of low-wage workers.
In a letter to the company on Monday, employees at the Northampton branch said the company harmed workers by cutting working hours and not paying decent wages even though it was “enormously profitable”. The company posted a profit of $4.2 billion for 2021, its second-highest year on record.
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Starbucks opposes union efforts here and elsewhere, saying they can better serve employees without intermediaries. Executives told investors earlier this month that they want to do more to improve the working environment for baristas and to listen to employees. It is currently raising the average wage for US workers from $14 to $17 an hour.