- cr: Wikimedia

Black baristas earn less than white baristas at airport Starbucks

The pay study conducted by workers’ union also alleges that LGBTQ workers have been misgendered

1y ago

A damning new report has found that black baristas working at airport Starbucks are paid $1.85 less than white baristas.

Black baristas earn a median wage of $11.15 per hour at airport Starbucks stores, while Latinx baristas earn $12.67, and white baristas earn $13.

Those were the findings of a pay study carried out across 142 stores in 27 airports by the hospitality workers’ union Unite Here.

As The Boston Globe reports, this allegation of a pay gap was published in a new report by Unite Here. The report, “One Job Should Be Enough: Inequality at Starbucks”, also included information about working conditions in airport Starbucks.

It alleges that LGBTQ workers have been misgendered, stating that LGBTQ baristas reported “offensive and transphobic comments from managers, harassment regarding their gender expression, and repeated misgendering”.

According to the New York Times, one transgender barista said his supervisors kept writing “Jessica” instead of Jay on his work schedule. Jay Kelly, who works at a Starbucks at Orlando International Airport in Florida, said: “It’s like a bullet to my heart. They look at me like I’m disgusting or like I’m not human or a type of animal that doesn’t belong in that airport.”

The union report claims that some immigrant workers were told by managers to stop speaking their preferred language at work.

It also alleges that airport stores did not close for the day of racial bias training back in 2018, when more than 8,000 Starbucks nationwide closed.

Airport Starbucks are actually operated separately, often by highway and airport food-service company HMSHost.

HMSHost said the racial pay gap allegation is “completely untrue”.

HMSHost’s statement reads: “As Unite Here is aware, all wage rates have been negotiated and agreed upon by the union during its collective bargaining agreements with HMSHost and these rates are not based on race. So, Unite Here’s allegation that racial pay disparities exist within HMSHost is completely untrue. HMSHost does not discriminate against our associates with respect to pay or any other term or condition of employment. Unite Here continues to spread false information about HMSHost with the sole objective of exerting pressure and gaining leverage.”

Starbucks has declined or not responded to requests for comment from several media outlets.

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Comments (1)

  • I'm being political, but unions usually sprout a lot of rubbish.

    Re complaints about managers telling employees to speak in English - when you're in a working environment, saying something in a language only one other person can get would be inappropriate.

      1 year ago