November 10, 1999
We want to take this opportunity to thank the thousands of people who expressed your support for our UnStrike against Starbucks Coffee. We are pleased to be able to tell you that our members ratified a new 2 year agreement, July 1, 1999 through June 30, 2001, by a margin of 75%. The UnStrike is over! We want you to know that your support was critical in putting pressure on Starbucks to come to a fair resolution.
Our new CAW-Starbucks agreement improves wages $.40 per hour over the 2 year term - $.15 retroactive to July 1, 1999 and $.25 effective July 1, 2000 - for an average increase of 4.7%. The increases are to be paid over and above any individual pay increases under the performance pay review system.
Our new agreement requires that all training hours will be designated over and above regularly scheduled hours. This will ease the stress on existing employees who train new hires while they simultaneously serve customer demand and will provide better training for new hires.
A new expedited investigation/decision making process using named Umpires will help speed resolution of disputes where Starbucks fails to properly schedule hours of work in accordance with the provisions of the agreement, which places employee seniority as a key factor in scheduling of hours.
This is solid step forward to strengthen employee job security. Under our agreement as employees gain seniority they have a contractual right to longer shifts per day and more hours per week and therefore enhanced earning potential.
The expedited investigation/decision making process will also apply to any disputes where Starbucks managers and/or assistant managers are performing barista job functions to the point of eroding bargaining unit work. This is another step in strengthening barista job security and earning potential.
During collective bargaining our Bargaining Committee argued convincingly that Starbucks performance pay system has become fundamentally flawed. It has become virtually impossible for baristas, who are actually performing to high standards, to achieve a ‘superior' or ‘outstanding' rating. This unfairly restricts baristas' rate of pay and hours of work. The net result has been to produce lower hourly rates of pay and earnings than would be the case with a fair and balanced system. As part of the our agreement the Company and the Union will meet within 30 days of signing the agreement to exchange information about and discuss changes to the performance pay review system. Prior to implementing any changes Starbucks must first discuss any changes with our Committee.
Inadequacies of the Vacation and Statutory Holiday provisions which will also be discussed the along with the performance pay review discussions.
If past practice is any gauge Starbucks will likely extend the wage increases we won to all baristas in Canada in order to downplay unionization of additional Starbucks outlets. On the strength of our 12 unionized outlets - 11 in Vancouver and 1 in Westbank - we have negotiated millions of dollars of wage increases for Starbucks baristas across Canada. In the process not one of our CAW Canada Local 3000 UnStrikers lost a minute of work or pay.
What Starbucks cannot extend to the non-union Starbucks outlets are our collective agreement rights for fairness in scheduling, for human rights protections, for the right to grieve a management decision or policy without fear of retaliation and for our right to go to a legally binding arbitration process over management decisions that do not fairly adhere to the collective agreement. CAW Starbucks baristas have won enhanced rights of dignity and justice in the work place and each and everyone of our members has reason to be proud of these gains.
We were not successful in winning gains in the area of earned sick leave, this time out, we can take pride that we put the issue squarely on the bargaining agenda for the future. Union and non- union baristas, Starbucks customers by the thousands and the general public agree that earned sick leave should be a basic right of employment at Starbucks. We intend to continue to press for earned sick leave during the course of the collective agreement. We expect to pursue this critical issue again in 2001 bargaining if it remains unresolved at that time..
Our UnStrike against Starbucks raised the profile of the CAW, unionizing in the service sector and the rights of CAW baristas among many baristas at currently non-union Starbucks. We intend to talk to interested baristas at non-union outlets and invite them to join our master agreement with Starbucks so that in 2001 we represent more members in more Starbucks stores.
In closing we say thank you one more time. With your support we have demonstrated that progress is possible in the service sector and justice will have its day.
CAW Canada Local 3000 Starbucks Bargaining Committee