Friday, March 28, 2008

Starbucks defies court order on tips

This is yet another story that would stretch suspension of disbelief beyond the permissible if it wasn't so sadly real.

Remember last week when I told you about Starbucks being ordered by a court to reimburse baristas for tips that were taken from them to be given to their bosses? Now the chain of coffee shops says it's going to ignore the court's ruling completely.

Seriously. Starbucks is defying a legally binding court order - an order that (to borrow Paul Bremer's favorite phrase) is a binding instruction or directive, and is based on a California law that clearly prohibits companies from taking workers' tips. The coffee chain's CEO Howard Schultz has proudly announced that the company will refuse to pay the counter servers their tips, even after the San Diego court ordered it to. Starbucks also says it's not complying with the part of the order that prohibits them from continuing to take baristas' tips - so the coffee chain is going to keep doing what got it in trouble in the first place.

Really??? Isn't this contempt of court?

But Starbucks remains undeterred! The company is now pleading poverty, saying that there is no money to be "refunded or returned from Starbucks." So one of the most profitable corporations in America is saying it has no money, after taking all that money from the lowest-paid workers?

It's not just the company's California stores that have been stealing tips from baristas. Now lawsuits have been filed against Starbucks in Minnesota and Massachusetts over this practice.

And yes, the Freeper types have already spewed classist hate speech to defend Starbucks on the comment sections of other sites regarding the latest developments in this saga.