From the TUC

Would you like germs with that? Starbucks & workers’ rights

04 Dec 2012, By

Starbucks sign

© Copyright Ross, licensed under Creative Commons

Not content using a range of legal tax loopholes to avoid paying corporation tax in the UK, it has been revealed that coffee megachain Starbucks are to cut paid lunch breaks, sick leave and maternity benefits for their 7,000 coffee-shop workers in the UK.

MPs found it hard to believe that over the past 13 years they have paid just £8.6 million on sales of £3.1 billion and in 14 of the 15 years it has operated in the UK, Starbucks has claimed an operating loss.  All this while the company enjoyed a 31% market share by turnover and had briefed shareholders the UK business was making 15% profits. The GMB has been working with UK Uncut to keep this scandal in the public eye.

Now they have sunk to new lows by telling staff that they are no longer to be paid for their half hour break every day, they will no longer receive sick pay for the first day off sick.  

For Starbucks workers, this means a big cut in pay (bearing in mind they are predominantly low paid) and they are far more likely to force themselves to come into work when they are ill, leading to a much greater risk of them spreading infections to both other staff and customers.

However not all benefits are being cut.  The Guardian reports that staff who complete five years of service will continue to receive a pen and the right to take four weeks off (without pay of course).

It should be no surprise that companies that treat their workers like rubbish, try to avoid union recognition and pay low wages are also those that are the worst tax-dodgers.

Unionised companies on the other hand are less likely to get away with slashing pay, they will also be safer and have less grievances and disciplinaries.  So if you do ever find yourself in a Starbucks, please don’t take your frustration about their tax dodging out on the workers, instead take some union application forms with you. In the long run they will do a lot more good.

3 Responses to Would you like germs with that? Starbucks & workers’ rights

    Dec 5th 2012, 6:49 am

    I think you will find these is a very well known high street store that dose the same thing with the sick pay they do not pay for the first 2 or 3 days and what you to come into work, most lady’s and gentleman will as they are afraid off getting a written warning from the company
    they have NO Union and they actively discourage Union, they have group to push thing through saying that this group is for the worker, when all they are is a mouth peace for the company

  2. shirley frost
    Dec 6th 2012, 2:50 pm

    Obviously like all the other welfare bosses they intend to pay their taxes by exploiting their workers.

  3. Protest against Starbucks, *still* corporate tax dodgers | York Stop the Cuts
    Dec 6th 2012, 6:17 pm

    […] In order to finance their kind offer of 20 million in tax over the next two years, they have cut paid lunch breaks, sick leave and maternity benefits for their 7,000 coffee-shop workers in the …. Saying that Starbucks are now paying their taxes is not giving the full story, Starbucks are now […]