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BMGT 496 – Business Ethics – Starbuck Airport Dispute

BMGT 496 – Business Ethics – Starbuck Airport Dispute

Please see the discussion question below. Must be 1-2 pages in length. CAN ONLY USE ATTACHED CLASS RESOURCES. APA format, in-text citation, and reference page.

Starbucks is Pressured to Intervene in Airport Dispute

Starbucks is caught in a workplace culture dispute between its airport store employees and HMSHost, one of its airport store operators, the NYT reports. Unite Here, a union representing airport retail workers, claims that at Starbucks’s airport stores had the following issues:

  • Median wages for black baristas are less than those for white baristas.
  • Managers purposely referred to transgender employees using incorrect pronouns.
  • Employees have been told to only speak English.

HMSHost denied all claims of discrimination. “Our fair treatment policy ensures an open and inclusive environment,” it said in a statement.

Why it matters: Workers at Starbucks’s airport stores aren’t technically employed by Starbucks. So while Starbucks corporate has grabbed headlines for employee bias training and expanded benefits, its franchise locations (like those run by HMSHost) aren’t included in those initiatives. Unite Here wants Starbucks to convince HMSHost to adopt those practices at its airport franchises.

Zoom out: Corporations have deflected blame for employee mistreatment to franchise operators. When accusations of sexual harassment at McDonald’s surfaced in 2018, the company argued it wasn’t liable for actions of employees at independent stores.

Help Starbucks determine the best course of action by supporting an argument from Week 1 – 7’s reading.


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