Starbucks and Living Wage

We live in Illinois. We love our baristas beyond measure. They certainly are a part of our life and our routine Monday, Wednesday, Friday. But here is a problem and it is a big one. It bugs me quite a bit actually. Starbucks baristas aren’t teens. They are adults. Some of them adults who are forced to live with their parents because of their low wages. Some raising kids. Yes, Starbucks has great benefits. They claim responsibility. But, it isn’t a job you can live on here.

Most of our baristas have 2, 3, 4 jobs to pay off student loans, to make rent, to just make it. They start out filling in at every store in the area. Then they get another job and another job and another job.

You know where that leads? It leads to unhappy baristas. It is a hard job in and of itself (seriously–have you ever considered the three ring circus that a busy Starbucks creates?) Have you seen a barista injured? Have you considered what standing in water and spilled milk does to your feet? Or the shoulder pain from lifting things from over your head over and over every day?

It’s real. And yet, these hard-working baristas go on to work another job or two just to make ends meet. Not fair. I know there is a profit margin that needs to be met. But I am pretty sure that our $12.00 plus order could cover a raise for all the employees and managers. I love these young people. I see my children in them. I love the older ones too. But you shouldn’t have to work your way up to district manager to make a living wage.

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