CA: Starbucks gets stuck with $100 Million bill for subsidizing its low level managers with employee tip money and more related information

Heres the story from Forbes (3/21/08):

Sometimes it pays to start a fight with the big guys. For some former Starbucks baristas that pay is going to total over $100 million.

Judge Patricia Y. Cowett of the Superior Court of the State of California ruled in a class action suit Thursday that the Starbucks Corp. (nasdaq: SBUX - news - people ) must pay 120,000 of its current and former baristas the sum of $86.7 million, plus awards interest of 7%, for tip pool money that the coffee retailer used to compensate shift supervisors.

Under California state labor laws, it is legal for employers to implement tip pools where employees are required to share tips, but recipients of the pool share may not be owners, managers or supervisors.

In the case of Chau vs. Starbucks the court ruled that Starbucks illegally distributed tips from the tip pool to compensate shift supervisors as well as baristas, expert espresso makers, and the plaintiffs are entitled to an injunction that Seattle, Wash.-based Starbucks no longer force employees to share their tips with shift supervisors.

Jou Chau, Starbucks barista from 2003 through 2004, filed the lawsuit in October 2004, complaining that he didn’t think it was fair to have to share tips with shift supervisors. “Tips really help those receiving the lowest wages. I think Starbucks should pay shift supervisors higher wages instead of making money from the tip pool.”
After reading a few comments by Starbucks employees I just couldn't hold back my anger of the stupidity of these workers who consider themselves Team Members and Partners, Jesus, I can call you sister and brother it doesn't mean we're related. This type of shit goes on in Toys' R Us and Wal-Mart to name a few. Where the corporations swindle the employees into thinking they are associates, a team or partners.

Do they even have a clue how stupid that idea is? If you are a partner at Starbucks, why the hell would I leave you a tip, let alone the lower level management. Geez, the general public are subsidizing the pay for their employees. How stupid could we be, $2-4 for a coffee and then we pay the employee too?

Wake up Starbucks workers, make your partners your fellow employees and form a damn union and force this giant multi-national piece of crap to reinvest in their partners, by giving you all a set schedule, a honest days pay and access to affordable medical for all their employees. Maybe even find a way for them to reinvent themselves to attract new customers, instead of just the overpriced coffee house that makes one feel obligated to tip.

My comment at Forbes:

I'm sorry, but I worked in Deli's and Bagel Stores when I was younger and there was no tip glass. The theory was that if there was a tip glass that the customers would think you didn't get paid enough.

It was a good theory. Starbucks should not use the customer to subsidize their employee pay. They should give their workers an honest days pay. You are not Baristas, team members or associates, you are just employees/workers and numbers to
the Starbucks corporation who has a lawful duty to make a profit in each quarter to satisfy the demand of the investors.

Got it, you work for Starbucks, they should pay you accordingly. I personally hate the way Starbucks makes customers feel obligated to tip someone who makes a cup of coffee, hell the way the brainwashed employees speak as if they are partners, make me wonder why the hell would I tip a multi-national chain store owner.

Think of it PARTNERS. Tell Starbucks to give you all full time hours, access to medical, the right of association and to freely form a union if so desired. Then maybe you can start calling them partners.
You can learn more about Starbuck's infractions against worker by checking out the IWW, Industrial Workers of The World website and the Starbucks Union site.

Heres one recent story of note from IWW (1/29/08) :
E-Mail Action: Fortune Magazine, Stop Lying About Starbucks Being a 'Best Company to Work For'
by intexile

Andrew Serwer
Managing Editor
Fortune Magazine
1 Time Warner Center
New York, NY 10019

January 28, 2008

Dear Mr. Serwer,

I take serious issue with the erroneous information regarding Starbucks in Fortune Magazine's 2008 '100 Best Companies to Work For'. I am especially concerned about the reliability of Fortune given that the IWW Starbucks Workers Union wrote you an open letter before the 2007 '100 Best Companies to Work For' feature that pointed out the very same misinformation which you proceeded to include once again in the 2008 list.

The 2008 'Best Companies to Work For' list claims that the most common hourly job at Starbucks is a mysterious position called "Coordinator III" which takes in $37,390 per year. Once again, the most common hourly job at Starbucks, by far, is a position called "Barista" which likely takes in approximately $12,000 per year on average. The precise average pay for baristas is not known since Starbucks refuses to make that information public.

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