Should CSR Matter Outside of the U.S.?
On July 7, 2011, The Wall Street Journal reported in an article on the ethical conflict facing the prodigious corporation known as Starbucks. According to the President of the union in Chile, union workers are dissatisfied and fed-up with the low employee morale they face in their work environment. Starbucks employees were said to have a starting hourly wage of $2.50 and that it hasn’t been changed for eight years. The workers at Starbucks's Chilean stores were pressing for, amongst other things, a lunch allowance similar one which managers receive and to have the company assume the full cost of their health insurance. The average cost of lunch in Chile is $5, so while managers are granted with a $50 lunch bonus other employees are left with a “2-Free coffees a day” ticket. With that being said, you can understand the perception that these unionized workers feel.
The outcome and consequences from Starbucks’s failure to accommodate its employees in Chile had led to the union proposing demands for benefits, such a monthly lunch bonus and full coverage of employee health insurance. Starbucks felt that the demands surpassed Chile’s business tendencies and that beneficial expectancy had been met. Union workers, from 30 Starbucks store locations, responded by preparing to go on strike for several days that could possibly cause an economic impact for the Starbucks franchise.
This is not the first time Starbucks has clashed with their employed union workers. Workers in Europe, New Zealand and here in the United States have also had their disagreements with the company. I believe if Chile is successful in their attempt, it may perhaps cause a domino effect. Starbucks could be looking at a number of union strikes starting and losing a considerable amount of profit.
The publicity accumulating that involves the...
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