In the last few years, especially after the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a noticeable growth in US labor organizing. Workers all over the country, from both large corporations and small companies, have gone on strikes and began forming labor unions in an effort to get better wages, working conditions, and benefits. Most recently, employees at large rail unions rejected a tentative deal to avert a walkout in September 2022 after it failed to adequately address their concerns. This is the latest, but certainly not the only, instance of workers demonstrating their increased bargaining power. We have also seen increased unionization movements by corporate employees at corporations like Amazon, Google, and Starbucks. However, as more corporate employees attempt to unionize, corporations have begun to push back, and the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has stepped in to put a stop to blatant anti-unionization efforts.
Starbucks. What comes to mind? Expensive coffee in a nice atmosphere? Mermaids? A warm pumpkin spice latte? Perhaps. However, the words “billion-dollar bank” likely do not cross anyone’s mind. As wild as it seems, the huge coffee company actually has $1.5 billion in assets, an amount larger than eighty-five percent of the banks in the United States. Not only is Starbucks flush with cash, but, unlike actual banks, it can use this money to invest in other ventures, invest in the marketplace, or expand its business. This begs the question, is Starbucks merely a coffee company or will it join the ranks of Bank of America and Citibank?