Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is putting the pressure on recently unionized company-owned stores.
Schultz told US store leaders that he is looking into the company’s benefit program and may introduce new perks solely for nonunion workers.
He added that due to federal labor laws and legal advice from the company’s counsel, offering such benefits to unionized locations would be illegal.
The law Schultz is referencing states that employers must negotiate any changes in compensation or benefits with the union representing workers. However, companies can indeed propose additional benefits for these employees.
Last month, Starbucks Workers United revealed that it had anticipated the company to offer new benefits in order to slow down efforts to unionize across the company.
Workers United also claims that the coffee chain is taking action to bust unions by cutting barista hours, firing organizers, and more. As a result, the National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint against Starbucks stating that it had violated a federal labor law by terminating organizers in Phoenix.
Over the last few months, around 200 of Starbucks’ locations have filed union paperwork and 18 have voted to unionize under Workers United.
“And while not all the partners supporting unionization are colluding with outside union forces, the critical point is that I do not believe conflict, division and dissension – which has been a focus of union organizing – benefits Starbucks or our partners,” said Schultz in a recent letter to employees.