Over 200 baristas and shift supervisors that work in the 32 Chilean Starbucks locations went on strike on July 7th. Their most crucial demand is earning a higher wage. Currently baristas at Starbucks in Chile make $2.50/hr. while the drinks are still sold for US prices, and they haven’t received raises in 8 years. The baristas are also asking for a lunch stipend in order to eat during their shifts, this is something managers in Chile are provided.
Here is what a Starbucks spokesman tells the Wall Street Journal:
"We feel very strongly that the benefits and compensation we offer our partners in Chile are above and beyond the industry norms. Our starting baristas' total compensation is 30% above the industry average; we offer company stock and cover 70% of their health care. The list of 25 things they're seeking, which includes a wedding bonus and a bonus for the birth of a child, are well outside the norm of standard business practices in Chile."> "Starbucks Union Bosses in Chile on Hunger Strike" (Reuters)
> "Baristas rachet up pressure on Starbucks" (sub. req. for full story)
> Union declares Global Week of Action against Starbucks