Supporting Your Access to Healthcare

This letter was sent to all U.S Partners on June 15th, 2022

JUNE 15, 2022

To U.S. Partners

Supporting your access to healthcare  


In anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on Roe v. Wadein May we shared that we will always strive to ensure our partners have access to quality healthcare. When legislative actions impact your access to healthcare we will work on ways to make you feel supported. That’s why starting today, we will provide partners enrolled in Starbucks healthcare plan a medical travel reimbursement benefit to access an abortion.   


This benefit will support eligible partners (and their eligible dependents) who are enrolled in a Starbucks medical plan, cannot legally access an abortion in their state of residence and do not have a provider available within 100 miles of their home. You can read full details of this benefit and how to access it on the Partner Hub.  

We know some partners may also face legislative barriers when it comes to accessing gender affirming procedures and we are working on the details for the medical travel reimbursement benefit for gender-affirming procedures now. Part of why this one is taking a little longer to finalize is that we want to make sure we account for the fact that there are more procedures to consider as part of this benefit. We will share an update on this as soon as possible. 

As we work through these details, we’re unfortunately seeing some misinformation that Starbucks will take benefits away from partners who are in the petitioning process. Here are the facts we want you to know:  

  • All partners enrolled in Starbucks healthcare will have access to these benefits.   
  • In stores represented by a union, federal law requires good faith collective bargaining over all wages, benefits and working conditions. That means Starbucks cannot make promises or guarantees about any benefits. For example, even if we were to offer a certain benefit at the bargaining table, a union could decide to exchange it for something else. Simply put, it’s difficult to predict the outcome of negotiations, and each store’s negotiation may look different.  
  • What we can say for sure, is that Starbucks will always bargain in good faith.  

Partners, thank you for the perspectives these last few weeks, including from those of you in our partner networks. I want to also thank you for continuing to listen and engage with one another with empathy and kindness, given the diverse views amongst us. Together, we can continue to make progress on critical benefits like these and find ways to support one another.  

Your partner, 


Sara Kelly

acting evp, Partner Resources  

Get the Facts: Starbucks Shares Update on Partner Commitments

Last month, Starbucks announced more than $1 billion in investments to uplift partners (employees). The investments were a direct result of dozens of collaboration sessions across the country where hundreds of retail partners (employees) and executives met to talk about frustrations, hopes and ideas and to co-create the future of Starbucks.

Here’s an update on where those commitments stand. 

Get the Facts: Additional Resources Regarding Investments announced May 3

We know that many partners have asked for more detail around the investments announced on May 3—like how does this apply to my store?

We’re sharing a new one-pager here as a resource for managers leading partners in stores with union organizing activity or representation. In this resource, you’ll find more detail on exactly which investments your partners will be eligible for based on when organizing activity began in your store.

You can get the one-pager here.

Get the Facts: Letter to White House on Behalf of Starbucks Partners

Letter to Steve J. Ricchetti from Starbucks on behalf of more than 240,000 partners (employees) in the U.S.

May 5, 2022 

Dear Mr. Ricchetti, 

I am reaching out on behalf of Starbucks Coffee Company in response to the White House’s recent meeting with union organizations, which included Workers United, to discuss their efforts to unionize our company. 

We are deeply concerned that Workers United, which is actively engaged in collective bargaining with us and trying to organize all our stores and our +240,000 partners (employees), was invited to the meeting while not inviting official Starbucks representatives, to discuss our view on the matter. We believe this lack of representation discounts the reality that the majority of our partners oppose being members of a union and the unionization tactics being deployed by Workers United. As you know, American workers have the absolute right to decide for themselves to unionize, or not to unionize, without any undue influences. 

Since our founding, we believe the direct relationship Starbucks has with its partners is the driving force in our business. Hundreds of thousands of families in America today rely on Starbucks for wages and benefits that include health and mental health care, full tuition reimbursement for eligible U.S. partners to earn bachelor’s degrees through Arizona State University, equity in the form of stock options (Bean Stock), catastrophe pay, 401(k) matching and life insurance, to name just a few. 

Throughout our history, we have created a partner-focused company that has allowed us to offer industry-leading compensation, breakthrough benefit packages, a safe work environment and a culture of respect and belonging. In fact, Aon Hewitt, the gold-standard in benefits analysis – rates Starbucks in the 100th percentile in the retail sector, including for part-time workers who want stability and flexibility to achieve their future aspirations. That means no retail company in America ranks above Starbucks. 

These efforts have led to us being consistently ranked as one of the best places to work, best companies for women, best companies for work-life balance and best companies for perks and benefits. Last year alone, we paid $131,712,529 to our partners in equity compensation, on top of their take-home pay within our Bean Stock program. All of these actions were made possible by our direct partner relationship without union representation. Furthermore, our current compensation, benefits, and perks are better than any existing private employer collective bargaining agreements we have reviewed from Workers United. 

I have enclosed with this note a complete list of the benefits we provide to our partners and the year each one was introduced. Sharing success through compensation and benefits with our partners is among our core values. And our values are not, and never have been, the result of demands or interference from any outside entity – Workers United or otherwise. It is who we are. 

Mr. Ricchetti, we are unwavering in our commitment and responsibility to do the right thing for each Starbucks partner. And that includes respect for differing opinions, inclusion and embracing diversity and individuality. 

Simply stated, we have a drastically more positive vision for our partners and our company than Workers United. And our vision is based on listening, connecting, collaborating and engaging directly with our partners. 

As such, I am requesting the opportunity to meet with you and bring a diverse, representative group of Starbucks partners from across the country to the White House so that they can share points of view and experiences that are vastly different from those presented by Workers United. 

Thank you in advance for your consideration of this request. 


AJ Jones II 

senior vice president, Global Communications and Public Affairs 

Starbucks Coffee Company 

Get the Facts: Implementation of Benefits

Starbucks Partners will receive all new wage, benefit and store improvement investments at all U.S. company-operated stores where Starbucks has the right to unilaterally make these changes.  However, at stores where workers have union representation, federal law requires good faith collective bargaining over wages, benefits and working conditions which prohibits Starbucks from making or announcing unilateral changes.  Where Starbucks is required to engage in collective bargaining, Starbucks will always negotiate in good faith.  Also, at stores involved in union organizing (for example, where election petitions have been filed), Starbucks cannot lawfully announce new wages, benefits and changes because these might positively or negatively affect employee choices about unions.  For these reasons, Starbucks cannot determine or predict whether the new wage, benefit and store improvement investments will be implemented at stores that have union representation or are involved in union organizing, but consistent with the law, the wage increases announced last October 2021 will be implemented at these stores.  Starbucks reaffirms the right of Starbucks partners to organize, and Starbucks will not favor or discriminate against any partners based on their sentiments for or against unions.

Get the Facts: Single Store Voting

From the beginning of the unionization effort, we have been clear that we are better when we work directly together without a union separating us.

Starbucks has over 9000 stores in the US, and over 400,000 partners. When stores vote as individual units, only the partners in that particular store have the opportunity to decide, by simple majority vote, whether or not to form a union. Likewise, only those partners who wish to unionize will come to the bargaining table to propose and negotiate an employment contract for that store.

What does that mean for the partners in the store who don’t want to unionize?

It means that they will be required to work under the contract negotiated by the partners who voted to unionize, like it or not. Separate contracts in separate stores will also make it more difficult for partners to transfer stores and will certainly undermine the spirit of collaboration, comradery and community we support throughout the company.  

We believe every single partner’s rights need to be respected. But when only a few partners make the decision to form a union it impacts every partner in that store. Our position is to support the will of the majority of our partners across the US. We believe all partners deserve and should have the right to vote on a decision that will ultimately impact them. Particularly a decision so important as this one.

Get the Facts: Disruptions

Creating a safe space is a shared community responsibility. We call it “the third place” – a warm and welcoming environment outside of our homes and workspaces where we connect and build community. We welcome all who use our spaces as intended, are considerate of others, communicate with respect, and act responsibly.

We also respect everyone’s legal right to engage in activity or peaceful protest. For safety reasons and to allow customer access any such activities should take place outside the store and away from front doors or drive-thrus. While partners may peacefully protest, behaviors that are in violation of our employment contract and code of conduct may result in disciplinary action or separation. A partner’s involvement in union activity does not exempt them from adhering to the policies and procedures that keep our partners and customers safe.

Get the Facts: Truth About NLRB Rulings

Anyone can file Unfair Labor Practice Charges (ULPs) with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB).  Once a charge is filed, the NLRB has the responsibility to investigate and review the allegation and decide if it has sufficient merit to proceed.

It’s important to note that when the NLRB decides that a ULP has merit it is simply saying the process and investigation should continue. Deciding that a ULP has merit is not an endorsement of the charge or a finding of any wrongdoing.

Only when the full ULP process and related litigation has concluded will any findings be final. To date, Starbucks has not been found to be in violation of the law.

We are committed to participating in and following all the NLRB rules and processes. 

Get the Facts: Policy Expectations for Partners

We respect and support our partners and our partners voices will always be heard. Together, we have the power to effect positive change in our stores, our company, and the communities we serve.

Our commitment is to support our partners, build trust and communicate directly and openly. It is also our expectation that our partners will follow Starbucks’ workplace conduct policies.

For example, an investigation revealed that partners in a Memphis store both failed to maintain a secure work environment and accessed the safe while not on shift. These partners opened a locked store after hours, without permission, to hold a private event with non-partners. These partners also allowed the non-partners to wander around the store, go behind the line and access the back of house while leaving the unlocked door unattended. Allegations of discrimination and retaliation are completely false.

Termination decisions are always hard. But every decision to separate a partner we make is grounded in our obligation and commitment to keep our partners, customers and stores safe, remain consistent in our decision making and uphold our mission and values. We will continue to show up for our partners every day. And we will keep working with our partners to create the Starbucks experience they deserve and can feel proud of.

Get the Facts: Starbucks is Not Mandating Meetings with Partners

Our partner meetings are designed to provide information that will enable each partner to make the right decision for themselves. Attendance at these meetings is never required.

We know we deliver the best Starbucks experience to our customers when we create the experience together with our partners. The majority of partners in a store have the right to decide if they want their store to be unionized. When a small number of partners raised the possibility of unionizing, our obligation was to make sure that all partners in the store knew the facts and had an opportunity to make an informed, individual decision about whether they wanted their store to be unionized. Overall, only 35% of partners eligible to vote have voted, meaning that 65% – or almost twice as many – voices have not been heard.