The Street | Would Having Starbucks Unions Affect the Price of Your Coffee?

Posted in In the News News

KI Executive Director, Joe McCartin speaks on worker unionization at Starbucks in The Street. Read an excerpt below.


“Joseph McCartin, a history professor and executive director of the Kalmanovitz Initiative for Labor and the Working Poor at Georgetown University, told TheStreet that the chain is a test case.

“Starbucks, like all employers who are faced with emerging unions, will try to make concessions of various kinds on wages and other issues all in order to avoid dealing with workers collectively,” he said.

“It goes beyond questions of budgets and money to the question of power and autonomy.”

According to McCartin, the problem also goes beyond Starbucks or Amazon, another major retailer that has been seeing a snowballing union drive. 

It is an example of middle-class jobs that no longer offer the security or upward mobility that they did in the mid-20th century.Scroll to Continue

When people working full-time are not able to buy a home, finance their children’s educations or feel even remotely financially secure, employees have less to lose and become more interested in protest and unionization.

“They’re called partners but in reality don’t really have a say in the organization of their work and certainly not their salary and benefits,” McCartin said. 

“If you really want to partner with the people who make Starbucks a profitable business, then you should be negotiating with them.””

Read the full article here.