Message from Sara: Starbucks and Workers United Agree on Path Forward

A message from Sara Kelly, evp, chief partner officer, Starbucks Coffee Company:

In December, we shared a letter with Workers United expressing our sincere desire to work together, with the goal of completing bargaining and contract ratification in 2024 for stores that have chosen to be represented by Workers United.

Since Laxman became ceo, he’s spent time in our stores, listening to, and learning from, partners. He’s been clear that we are deeply committed to delivering on our partner promise and to restitching the fabric of the green apron for all partners at Starbucks.

I want to let you know that we have reached an important milestone. We have agreed with Workers United that we will begin discussions on a foundational framework designed to achieve collective bargaining agreements, including a fair process for organizing, and the resolution of some outstanding litigation.

There is a lot of work ahead, but this is an important, positive step. It is a clear demonstration of our intent to build a constructive relationship with Workers United in the interests of our partners. I want to acknowledge and appreciate the union’s willingness to do the same.

Our partners are the core of our business, and we are committed to providing everyone who wears the green apron a bridge to a better future.

Further, the Company issued the following statement:

Starbucks and Workers United have a shared commitment to establishing a positive relationship in the interests of Starbucks partners. During mediation discussions last week for the ongoing brand and IP litigation, it became clear that there was a constructive path forward on the broader issue of the future of organizing and collective bargaining at Starbucks.  

Starbucks and Workers United have agreed to begin discussions on a foundational framework designed to achieve both collective bargaining agreements for represented stores and partners, and the resolution of litigation between the union and the company. This includes resolving litigation related to both the partner benefits announced in May 2022, and the use of the Starbucks brand. 

As a sign of good faith, Starbucks has agreed to provide partners represented by Workers United with the May 2022 benefits, including credit card tipping.  

While there is important work ahead, coming together to work on this framework represents an important step forward and is a clear demonstration of a shared commitment to working collaboratively on behalf of partners.