Sunday, August 2, 2009

IWW Starbucks Union Condemns Starbucks Doubling Health Insurance Costs

July 28, 2009

IWW Starbucks Union Condemns Starbucks Doubling Health Insurance Costs Health Coverage Cuts Come Amidst Soaring Profits

Starbucks, amid massive profits, announced on Monday that it will slash at employee health care benefits. The company announced that premiums for its most economical employee health care package will nearly double, along with across the board increases in out-of-pocket expenses. This slap in the face to workers comes just one week after the announcement of $256 million in profits for the quarter, far exceeding internal and Wall Street expectations.

These cuts are an insult to Starbucks workers, and the thousands of workers who have been laid off in the last year. The increased costs of health benefits will be a barrier to many workers thinking of enrolling, forcing them to make the hard decision between health care coverage and feeding their families.

We expect more from Starbucks as a leading Fortune 500 company that builds its brand image on its treatment of its "partners", what it calls employees. Starbucks has a responsibility to provide affordable, quality healthcare to its workers, who are responsible for its enormous profits. Instead, Starbucks continues to use health care benefits as a marketing tool, while actually covering a lower percentage of its workforce than the notoriously unethical Wal-Mart.

Starbucks has repeatedly shown that it cannot be trusted to compensate us fairly. We believe as workers we must organize together to hold Starbucks accountable, and give us the respect and dignity we deserve.

About the IWW Starbucks Workers Union:

The IWW Starbucks Workers Union is an organization of over 300 current and former employees at the world's largest coffee chain united for secure work hours, a living wage, and respect on the job. The union has members throughout the United States and Canada, fighting for positive change at the company and defending baristas treated unfairly by management.