The International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC ) is extremely concerned about the situation of workers’ rights at Starbucks in Chile. In October, as it announced record profits, the company rejected all Starbucks Workers´ Union demands, included in a draft collective agreement.
Alleging damage to its competitiveness, the company has said it cannot cover basic benefits to workers such as meals and commuting expenses, as well as sick pay rights.
The majority of workers are young people under 25, ironically referred to by its internal regulations as “partners”.
The company was sentenced four times for violation of trade union rights in 2012, and the Chilean Supreme Court has recently upheld an appeal court ordering it to pay a $50,000 fine and to negotiate a collective agreement with the union.
It is clear for the ITUC that Starbucks is using all its resources to derail the process of collective bargaining and, through intimidation and direct retaliation, discourages workers from joining the union.
“Workers’ rights at Starbucks in Chile deserve to be respected as any other rights. Starbucks is claiming everywhere that it is a socially responsible company. It is now time to see it concretely,” said Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary.
To show your solidarity, you can take action on http://act.equaltimes.org/starbucks and tell Starbucks to negotiate in good faith with workers in Chile.