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Starbucks to boost US employee pay

New York, United States | Monday 7/11/2016 – 15:39 GMT

Starbucks announced Monday it will lift wages for some 150,000 baristas and other employees in its home market as it moves to address staff concerns over insufficient hours.

The ubiquitous coffee shop chain will hike base pay for “partners” — employees — and store managers by five percent or more, chief executive Howard Schultz said in a letter to staff. The company will also increase its stock-award program.

Starbucks logo. AFP File Photo.

Starbucks logo. AFP File Photo.

The cumulative effect will be to boost compensation by between five and 15 percent starting in October, Schultz said.

Starbucks’ move follows online petition signed by more than 12,800 workers that complained insufficient work hours is “killing morale”.

“You end up taking it personally, when corporate directs your stores to understaff, and under-schedule,” the petition said “You wonder if they realize how difficult it is to pay your bills when you work 25 hours a week?”

The petition also said employee tips have declined since more customers began paying with Starbucks’ smartphone app.

Schultz said he was committed to empowering employees. “The world around us is increasingly fragile,” Schultz added.

“But our commitment to you is not. We are in this together, and honoring your needs is essential to Starbucks success.”