Get serious about Starbucks |

Get serious about Starbucks

If the Summit Daily wants to print Associated Press stories about Starbucks (see “Starbucks gets serious about breakfast,” March 7), maybe it should choose to expose some of the harsh realities of the coffee mega-giant as opposed to highlighting its new breakfast sandwiches. The local Starbucks is practically bullying independent, locally-owned coffee shops from the county. Starbucks’ advocates claim that the industry leader is progressive with employee benefits by giving part-time workers (20 hours per week) health insurance; however, several employees who I have known over the years claim that they are only given 19.75 hours of work, 15 minutes shy of earning the benefits. In addition, Starbucks is notoriously anti-union and has a history of denying managers overtime pay. The nutritional information of the food described on their website is appalling; The caramel pecan sticky roll has more fat than a Big Mac. Most disheartening, the Starbucks Corporation mistreats farmers and coffee workers by denying them safe working conditions, fair wages, and by promoting un-sustainable growing methods. Even though they pioneered the sale of fair trade coffee, it represents less then 2 percent of the 100 million pounds of coffee they will buy this year, according to the Organic Consumers Association in an article titled, “Starbuck$: One of Ten Worst Corporate Hypocrites/Greenwashers in America.” As an industry leader, Starbucks should guarantee that children in exploitative conditions did not pick the coffee beans they sell. Starbucks has the resources to make child labor a priority, but they have not yet done enough. So, as exciting as it was to learn that “Starbucks store revenues will increase by $30,000 with the new sandwiches,” it would have been more interesting to read about Greta’s home-made ice cream or the Coffee Depot’s locals’ discounts.

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