ChileLabor — 13 July 2011

In the USA Starbucks is known to be a worker-friendly company whose coffee stewards, called “barristas”, are given health insurance says their CEO Howard Shultz in an interview on the American television show 60 Minutes.  But here in Chile the Starbucks baristas are on strike.  Blowing whistles outside the store they hold signs reminding patrons that a cup of coffee at Starbucks costs more than a Starbucks employee of 8 years earns per hour.

This is not the first time that an American corporation has run afoul of the custom here in Chile to unionize.  Walmart bought the Chilean discount retailer Lider whose employees belong to a union.  The union cried fowl when Walmart negotiated what they said was a watered down contract with a group of workers who they say do not represent their union.

The web site for the Starbucks Workers of Chile is located here.  


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