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Starbucks labor union strikes as new CEO takes the reins

Yahoo Finance Live discusses a planned strike by Starbucks labor unions as new CEO Laxman Narasimhan assumes leadership of the chain.

Video transcript

DAVE BRIGGS: We started with donuts. We finished with coffee. My play is Starbucks. New CEO Laxman Narasimhan replaced Howard Schultz on Monday. And all of two days into his new gig, he's welcomed with a strike. Starbucks Workers United organized a strike at an estimated 100 cafes across the country in what they're calling a National Day of Action.

The union demanding an end to what they call illegal union busting, releasing a statement reading, quote, "While the company keeps a metaphorical empty chair for us in the boardroom, we are demanding a real seat at the table." Now, we can't confirm how many stores did participate in this strike. There are reports of strikes Michigan, Arizona, in Colorado, Minnesota, and Virginia, to mention a few. Here's the list the union says of all the stores that had planned to join the strike.

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Their founder and CEO, Howard Scultz, will appear before the Senate next week after pressure from Bernie Sanders. But back in '21, Starbucks raised their minimum wage to 15 bucks an hour. Baristas earn an average of 17. They go up to $23. We'll check out shares today. I think they're relatively flat and relatively flat for the year as well. I don't know how you guys feel about this, but 15 bucks an hour minimum wage for a barista-- come at me on Twitter, fine-- that is more than an adequate wage. Averaging $17--

SEANA SMITH: And a lot of times, you get tips.

DAVE BRIGGS: --seems pretty darn fair to me. And most times, you get tips.

SEANA SMITH: Yeah, most times, you do get tips. I agree with you. I do agree with you on the pay. I think that this new CEO certainly has an uphill battle, at least over the next several months. He's coming into a company when there is a lot of turmoil, when you take into account all the baristas that are very, very upset about this, the culture there. There needs to be some sort of shift. And what that shift will be, obviously, in tone and how some of these situations are handled. He's not going to have an easy ride here. There's going to be lots of questions that people want answers to, not only his employees, but also shareholders and investors as well.

DAVE BRIGGS: There's questions on the other side as well. The Republicans--

SEANA SMITH: There are.

DAVE BRIGGS: --in the House are questioning the National Labor Relations Board on whether they handled this inappropriately on the flip side of this. So I think they're a preemptive strike against what's about to come down on Howard Schultz.

SEANA SMITH: Yeah, regional representative there that's being questioned.