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Victoria Starbucks claims its workers denied wage increases over unionization

Douglas Street coffee shop said company went back on its word
Staff at the Starbucks at Douglas and Alpha streets in Victoria have called out their company over denied wage increases and other benefits. (Google Street View)

A Starbucks location in Victoria is calling out the Seattle-born coffee company, claiming it was denied recent wage increases over its decision to unionize.

The capital city’s drive-through coffee shop, located at 3180 Douglas St., said in a Monday (May 30) news release that its employees were denied wage increases and investments into benefits and training which Starbucks Canada announced in early May.

Those increases would benefit every store and every employee role in Canada when they’re rolled out in the summer, the release said. But the Douglas store employees say they received an email shortly after that announcement notifying them “they would not receive the partner investments as they were a unionized store.”

That left the workers “steaming mad” as Starbucks Canada had allegedly assured them it would support the choice to unionize.

“We are delighted to see Starbucks taking steps to address the inability of many to afford a comfortable life. We agree that our labour is worth more and that higher wages will help us live with dignity and create the best moments with our customers,” the Douglas Street employees said.

The local store has asked its parent company to extend the wage increases to them.

READ: Victoria Starbucks location workers union inks deal with coffee giant

United Steelworkers (USW), the union representing the Victoria store, claim it requested that Starbucks extend the investments to the Victoria branch, but that was denied by the company.

“We are calling on Starbucks to do what’s right and extend the partner investments and wage increases to the unionized store,” Lunny said. “We know our members work as hard and contribute as much as any other partner in any other store across Canada and they should be treated with the respect they deserve.”

The Victoria News has reached out for comment from Starbucks corporate.

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