Starbucks bills itself as a good employerâ€”and sometimes it lives up to that. But not all Starbucks locations are operated by Starbucks, and UNITE HERE has released a damning report on pervasive discrimination and harassment at 142 Starbucks locations operated by HMSHost in 27 airports. Median pay for black baristas is $1.85 less than for white baristas at these locations, and claims that itâ€™s about tenure on the job donâ€™t hold up. In Houstonâ€™s George Bush Intercontinental Airport, for instance, â€śThere were three Black baristas with more seniority than one of the white baristas who made $2.50 an hour less than that white barista. Another white barista who had only 4 months more seniority than one of the Black baristas made $3.17 an hour more.â€ť
In contrast to Starbucksâ€™ image as an LGBTQ-friendly company, workers at the HMSHost Starbucks report widespread harassment, misgendering, and transphobia. LGBTQ workers arenâ€™t the only ones facing harassment: â€śMore than 1 in 4 immigrant workers surveyed at HMSHost Starbucks have been told to stop speaking their preferred language by managers at work.â€ť Starbucks is failing these workers.
This article was originally published at Daily Kos on February 29, 2020. Reprinted with permission.
About the Author: Laura Clawson is a Daily Kos contributor at Daily Kos editor since December 2006. Full-time staff since 2011, currently assistant managing editor.