Skip to content
+ Work Shift

Starbucks Faces New Front in Its Labor Disputes: White-Collar Workers

  • Workers criticize in-person mandate, response to store unions
  • White-collar employees may seek to unionize their own ranks
Starbucks headquarters in Seattle.
Starbucks headquarters in Seattle.Photographer: David Ryder/Bloomberg
Updated on

Dozens of white-collar Starbucks Corp. employees and managers have signed an open letter protesting the company’s return-to-office mandate and its alleged union-busting, opening a new front in the battle over the avowedly progressive coffee chain’s treatment of its staff.

“We love Starbucks, but these actions are fracturing trust in Starbucks leadership,” the workers wrote in their letter, which was sent to senior executives and board members and will be posted on a website Wednesday. “Morale is at an all-time low, and the brand reputation and financial value of this publicly traded company are at risk.” Both violating baristas’ unionization rights, and subjecting white-collar staff to an abrupt return-to-office mandate, the letter argues, reflect the same problem: “Not listening to partners.”