Shallow Waves

Stuff that matters

Big things are brewing at Starbucks.

The coffee chain has announced plans to pay all U.S. employees a minimum wage of $15 over the next three years, expanding pay raises that begin next week.

CEO Kevin Johnson shared the piping-hot news in a Wednesday memo, explaining that the chain will bump up in-store workers’ pay by at least 10% starting Monday, fast-tracking plans to pay everyone at least $15 an hour in the years to come.

“We also recently shared one of our biggest wage investments of at least a 10 percent pay increase for our partners, all of whom already earn more than the minimum wage,” Johnson said, alluding to the November announcement. “With these investments, more than 30 percent of our U.S. retail partners are currently at or above $15/hour and we continue on our path to ensure all U.S. partners will be making at or above $15/hour within the coming two to three years.”

“And as we always do, we will continue to explore what more we can do to provide compensation and benefits in support of our partners.”

Raising the minimum wage has long been a hot topic in the food service industry. It has also caught the attention of President-elect Joe Biden, who has expressed interest in raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, though the move would require Congressional approval.

Currently, the federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour for covered, nonexempt employees.

In the memo – which was addressed to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy – the Starbucks executive also urged for further COVID-19 relief legislation, benefitting Americans out of work and small businesses struggling during this time.