Starbucks: GOP Tax Cuts "Accelerated" Wage and Benefit Increases

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Posted by Abigail Marone on Tuesday, January 29th, 2019, 11:10 AM PERMALINK

Starbucks employees are benefiting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act enacted by congressional Republicans and President Donald Trump. According to the company, the tax cuts "accelerated" wage increases, employee stock grants, and Partner and Family Sick Time benefits.

"These offerings will total more than $250 million for more than 150,000 partners and are accelerated by recent changes in the U.S. tax law," the company said in a January 2018 statement.

"The Starbucks example is a reminder that the GOP tax cuts help every community in America," said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform.

In a letter to employees, Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson wrote:

Investing in our partners has long been our strategy, and due to the recent changes in U.S. tax law, we are able to accelerate some significant partner investments to continue our leadership as the retail industry leader in total compensation and benefits.   

Excerpts of the Starbucks company statement can be found below:

Building on a long history of providing relevant, industry-leading benefits, Starbucks Coffee Company (NASDAQ: SBUX) today announced a series of new partner (employee) offerings that span across wage and benefits. These offerings will total more than $250 million for more than 150,000 partners and are accelerated by recent changes in the U.S. tax law. 

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Starbucks pays above the minimum wage in all states across the country. In April, all eligible U.S. hourly and salaried partners will receive a second wage increase in addition to the annual increases that they have already received this fiscal year. This will include an investment of approximately $120 million in wage increases that will be allocated based on regional cost of living and laws that vary from state to state. 

On April 16, we will provide an additional 2018 stock grant for all eligible full-time, part-time, hourly and salaried U.S. partners across our stores, plants and support centers, who have been active as of Jan. 1, 2018. All Starbucks retail partners will receive at least a $500 grant, store managers will each receive $2000 grant and plant and support center partner (non-retail) grants will vary depending on annualized salary or level. This investment alone is valued at more than $100 million.  

A new Partner and Family Sick Time benefit will be available to all eligible U.S. partners, which will allow partners to accrue paid sick time based on hours worked and then use them if they or a family member needs care. When this benefit goes into effect this year, Sick Time will accrue at a rate of one hour for every 30 hours worked, thus a partner working 23 hours a week can expect to accrue approximately five days of sick time benefit over the course of one year.

Starbucks has also reaffirmed their commitment to create more than 8,000 new part-time and full-time retail jobs and an additional 500 manufacturing jobs in its Augusta, Georgia soluble coffee plant.

For store partners, Starbucks has also expanded their parental leave policy to include all non-birth parents with up to 6 weeks of paid leave when welcoming a new child. 

These new offerings are in addition to the nearly $7 billion of capital that Starbucks will deploy to build and renovate stores, manufacturing plants and technology platforms in the U.S. over the next five years. Starbucks remains committed to providing opportunities to tens of thousands of Americans from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Americans for Tax Reform has a national compilation of good news arising from the GOP's tax cuts. Click here to see highlights in your state.

 

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