Starbucks introduces new employee benefits — as long as they aren’t in a union

Starbucks introduced new financial-focused employee benefits on Monday, but they are only available for non-unionized employees.

The company outlined two new efforts to help employees with their finances: My Starbucks Savings, which will allow workers to contribute a portion of their pay to a personal savings account through Fidelity Investments, and Student Loan Management Benefit, a program designed to give employees access to resources and individual coaching to help them manage student loan debt, refinancing and repayment options, the company said.

“As we reinvent the future of Starbucks, together with our partners, we knew we had an opportunity to further support the financial well-being of our partners and their families,” Ron Crawford, the senior vice president Total Rewards at Starbucks, said in an announcement.

This week’s announcement was not the first time the coffee chain has withheld benefits from unionized employees.

Earlier this year, Starbucks CEO Howards Schultz claimed in an online forum that the company would not be able to offer any new benefits or wage increases to unionized employees due to U.S. labor law, which requires companies to separately negotiate pay and benefits with unions.

However, the Seattle office of the National Labor Relations Board filed a complaint in August, saying the company was in fact in violation of the law by failing to offer wage increases and some benefits to unionized workers, The Associated Press reported.

The union, Starbucks Workers United, said 300 protesters picketed outside of the Starbucks Investor Day meetings on Tuesday, according to AP.

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