Starbucks Baristas Picket for Chilean Co-Workers

Employees in that nation are on strike over wages
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 26, 2011 2:44 PM CDT
A barista works at a Starbucks store in downtown Seattle.   (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

(Newser) – A shot of politics with your coffee? Starbucks workers across the globe are standing with their striking Chilean counterparts in a “global week of action,” the Wall Street Journal reports. From Los Angeles to London, members of the IWW Starbucks Workers Union are picketing and distributing fliers explaining the plight of 200 Chilean baristas, who say that at $2.50 an hour, they make too little to buy lunch. The pay rate hasn’t increased in 8 years.

The Chilean workers are calling for lunch stipends, full health care coverage, and other concessions. “Doing this is the only way we can reach the company,” said the hunger-striking president of Chile’s union. But a Starbucks rep says the firm feels “very strongly that the benefits and compensation we offer our partners in Chile are above and beyond the industry norms.”

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