Wednesday, November 23, 2005

A world first

Tomorrow will see a world first: the first strike by workers at a Starbucks. Workers at the K'Road / Mercury Lane Starbucks will walk off for an hour and hand out free fair trade coffee to passersby in an attempt to gain higher wages and an end to youth rates.

Like most American fast-food chains, Starbucks violently opposes any attempt by their workers to organise for a better deal. In the US, they simply fire people for joining a union. Fortunately, we have actual labour laws here preventing such gross abuses of power, as well as a requirement for "good faith" bargaining. Starbucks will simply have to put up with unionised workers, and bargain with them just like anybody else.


Man you should of heard the interview between Matt McCarten and a Starbucks representative on Linda Clark's programme this morning!

This Starbucks witch kept calling the people they hire for $10 an hour "partners"? In what? There own servitude? They ain't no partner in ownership, lady.

Bragging about a 73% staff turn-over. And then that her "partners" could get a free beverage as "partner [and I think the term was] privileges" scheme. At this point Matt was just laughing - as was I. Unbelievable.

And what did she say..."I wonder who the masters are with the leases we have to pay..." !!! Yes that's right, I heard her correctly: "MASTERS" was her word. You poor bastards. Sickening.

A nasty exploitatative introduction to the work force is all they offer. I don't personally like the sickly, sugary milky pap from that coffee-milk bar cafe. I prefer to get a better, real brew at the real, cheaper, proper cafe down the road that has had the same staff for more than 9 months. If I want a child's milkshake, in an American venue with foreign teenagers and a stupid back-to-front self-service system, then I won't even go to Starbucks after hearing that interview.

Sell your Restaurant Brands shares - they don't deserve your assistance and their attitude and understanding doesn't entitle them to succeed in rewarding their management.

Posted by Bomber : 11/23/2005 11:38:00 AM

This is the sort of thing we can expect under an ACT/National government and ERA Mark II. Just look across the Tasman and see what the Cane Toad's been up to there. Globalisation = no protection for workers or the environment.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/23/2005 12:17:00 PM

Right on John. Not as amusing as the way right-wing so-called libertarians try to paint such exploitation as "free contract," but amusing none the less. Show me a Labour party that hasn't sold its soul and I'll show you a parliamentary polity that might deserve to be called a democracy.

Posted by Anonymous : 11/23/2005 01:45:00 PM

Appalling coffee and appalling work conditions. At least in NZ their are many better options (look at all the good cafes in Cuba st, Welly). In NY, the situation's pretty dire. They're everywhere like a rash....

Posted by Anonymous : 11/24/2005 03:25:00 PM

Adrienne: not just appalling - overpriced as well. They charge on average 25% more for their (lower-quality) flat white, while paying their staff only half as much as a barista in real cafes. Which I think tells you everything you need to know about them.

Posted by Idiot/Savant : 11/24/2005 03:32:00 PM

But.. but..but..but.. they get a partner beverage!!!

God she made a fool of herself.

Yes they are doing well - acutally, no we're not doing well.... which is it??

Posted by Matt : 11/25/2005 12:14:00 AM