What is in this article?:
- Starbucks restructures 'shift supervisor' position in Mass.
- Reworking the hierarchy to create opportunity
A spokeswoman for the company says Starbucks could be responsible for paying about $14 million in damages.
Reworking the hierarchy to create opportunity
In Massachusetts, Starbucks began rethinking the shift supervisor position immediately after the November ruling, said Riley. Earlier this month, the updated store operations structure was communicated to workers at Starbucks units across the state.
The chain has reworked the hierarchy to create something of a hybrid position between “shift supervisor” and “assistant store manager” to increase management presence in each store and offer better career opportunities, Riley said. The result is a new position called “shift manager,” which offers what Riley described as a competitive compensation and benefits package that in part makes up for the loss of tips.
Shift managers will not be allowed to participate in tip pools, she said.
Existing shift supervisors have been offered the choice of applying for a shift manager position or of moving to a barista position. The latter has a lower pay scale, but baristas can share in tips. All shift supervisors will also be eligible for a bonus in pay that will help them through the transition, Riley said, though she declined to offer specifics on pay.
The Industrial Workers of the World Starbucks, or IWW Starbucks, a labor organization, characterized the bonus as $350 and said the starting wage for shift supervisors was increased from $11 to $13.89 per hour, affecting more than 300 employees.
Shannon Liss-Riordan, an attorney representing the Starbucks baristas in the class-action suits in both Massachusetts and New York, said she was pleased to see the coffeehouse chain raise the pay of shift supervisors in Massachusetts.
“That’s exactly the right result,” she said. “Shift supervisors will be compensated and baristas will get more money in tips, and that’s really what the legislature intended.”
IWW Starbucks also hailed the move as a victory. The group said Starbucks shift supervisors had filed a petition complaining about the loss of income that would result from the tip-pool ruling and that workers had threatened a strike.
Riley, however, said the changes in Massachusetts were solely a response to the court ruling and not a reaction to any petition or proposed strike by the IWW.
“Starbucks is a company that prides itself on open and direct communication with its partners, which is what we call our employees, and we respect their free choice to unionize,” she said. “But not one single Starbucks store is unionized.”