August 7, 2006 Coffee & Company

Starbucks Statement Regarding Our Partners and Union Representation

The heart and soul of Starbucks is our people, which is why we consider our employees partners.  We continue to be committed to providing a flexible and progressive work environment, and treating one another with respect and dignity. 

Starbucks believes that the employment package we offer is compelling and relevant to our partners. For more than 20 years, Starbucks has offered a generous wage and benefits package to eligible partners, including those working just 20 hours per week or more.. Approximately 85 percent of partners have health coverage, either through Starbucks or another source, such as school, military or as a dependent. 

Additionally, the majority of our partners are eligible for ownership in the form of stock options, which makes them truly partners in the business.  

Our work environment fosters open, two-way communication and has many ways for our partners to share their thoughts, opinions and concerns.  We believe that the direct employment relationship that we currently have with our partners is the best way to help ensure a great work environment. 

This has been confirmed in a recent partner survey in which the vast majority identified health benefits, opportunities for growth and development and a positive work environment as a few of the top reasons they choose to work for Starbucks. We have also received recognition from outside sources. Fortune magazine named Starbucks as one of "The 100 Best Companies to Work For" for the eighth time in 2006. 

While Starbucks respects the free choice of our partners, we firmly believe that our work environment, coupled with our outstanding compensation and benefits, make unions unnecessary at Starbucks. We respect our partners' right to organize, but believe that they would not find it necessary given our pro-partner environment. 

We comply strictly with the laws and guidelines associated with union organizing activities. In fact, discipline and employment termination policies are applied consistently to all partners at Starbucks without consideration of their involvement in union activity. Starbucks takes very seriously its legal obligations and does not take action or retaliate against partners (employees) who express support for unions or take part in union activity.

In order to protect the confidentiality of our current and former partners, Starbucks does not provide specific details about any individual's employment.  Partner performance is addressed only after careful consideration of many performance factors and consistent application of company policies and procedures governing employment in keeping with our guiding principle of treating all partners with respect and dignity.  Of course, we understand that partners who are separated will not always acknowledge their responsibility and may even try to rationalize their behavior by distorting the facts and publicly attacking the company. However, we trust that our record of fair treatment and positive partner relations speaks for itself and that the public will not be fooled by such baseless claims." 

For a Fact Sheet regarding Starbucks partners and unions, please go to:

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