Merry Christmas you underpaid, overworked coffee barista boys and girls. Uncle Howard Schultz, your founder and CEO, has found another way to screw Starbucks (SBUX) employees, if he wants to. According to The Wall Street Journal, "Starbucks Corp. told employees the company won’t guarantee that it will make a company match to their 401(k) accounts next year."
Keep in mind that Starbucks still makes lots of money. In the last reported quarter, the coffee retailer improved revenue by 3% to $2.5 billion. Operating income was down to $14 million from $248 million in the same period in 2007. But, Starbucks did take a $99 million restructuring charge this year.
So much for Starbucks making the Fortune "100 Best Places To Work For" list again in 2009. As the company says "We are always focused on our people. We provide opportunities to develop your skills, further your career, and achieve your goals."
In the meantime, Starbucks does not mind fleecing its employees by cutting contributions to their savings if it wants to. Maybe it is because the firm pays them so well.
Douglas A. McIntyre