On December 17, Starbucks Coffee abruptly informed "shift supervisors," also known as shifts, in MA that they would no longer receive any income from customers' tips as of January 7. Shift supervisors have extra responsibilities, but start at just $11/hr. The loss of tips represents a cut of up to 10-20% of their income! Shifts comprise roughly one third of Starbucks' MA workforce. The company has said it will not provide any immediate raise to make up for the effective salary cut, and that any future increase shifts may receive won't be retroactive. For years, Starbucks has essentially arranged for customers to subsidize shifts' low pay with tips, but the MA courts have ruled this illegal.
Shifts are demanding that their huge, profitable employer ensures no Starbucks worker loses income from the court ruling on tips. They want a $4/hour raise, and transparency from the company, which has been maddeningly opaque in its dealings with employees, refusing to say anything about any possible raise until a petition by shifts called attention to their plight.
The IWW stands in full support of all workers, including shift supervisors at Starbucks. We will hold an action to raise public awareness about this important labor issue this Friday, December 18, starting at 12 noon, at the flagship Starbucks store, 1380 Mass. Ave. Cambridge, right next to the Harvard Sq Red Line T stop. Please join us! A map is here.
Geoff for the Industrial Workers of the World