Icould we imagine an employee who, spontaneously, would return some of his money to his employer in the hope that he would be happy with himself and not kick him out? It’s a bit like the principle of buying back shares on the stock market. A company buys its own shares and then destroys them, automatically driving up earnings per share. In theory, this practice is equivalent to the dividend to remunerate the shareholder. In theory, this should be reserved for companies that make so much money that they think it makes more sense to return it to shareholders than to invest it themselves, not just to prop up the stock price.
This Monday, April 4, Howard Schultz, the boss of Starbucks, decided to suspend the huge share buyback program of 20 billion dollars (about 18.2 billion euros) launched by his predecessor in December 2021. “I’m not in business as a Starbucks shareholder so that every decision I make is based on the stock price for the quarter,” he said, specifying that he would now invest this money ” in [ses] shops and [ses] employees ». Here’s a good idea! She delighted the baristas and other servers in the chain’s cafes, even if they learned to be wary of this devil of Howard, who navigates so well between social paternalism and primary anti-unionism.
At 68, the founder of the world’s leading coffee chain, with its 388,000 employees in more than 33,000 bars around the world, is an active man who practices fixed-term retirement. After having developed his company in the giant proportions that we know, he retired for the first time in 2000, before returning in 2008 to turn the company around, then leaving again in 2016, before returning as “interim boss” this week. Cataloged social boss, he likes to interact with the staff, pays better than the industry average, 17 dollars in the United States with health coverage, and has even considered on several occasions to run for the Democratic nomination for the presidential elections.
But this progressive considers that the success of his business, started with a neighborhood bistro, would not have been possible with rigid and demanding unions in structures often with less than ten employees. That same Monday, a trade unionist from Phoenix was fired. But times have changed and the shortage of staff, combined with the gradual mobilization of cafe staff, has finally paid off. The Starbucks Workers United is gradually establishing itself in the United States.
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