Starbucks policy on employee dating

As of 2012 (the latest year for which data is available), the median hourly income for retail salespeople is .29 per hour, or ,410 a year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

"We're proud of the level of service we provide in our stores," said Zack Hutson, a spokesman for the company.

"We know that the connection our partners have with customers is the foundation of the Starbucks experience. We want our customers to have the appropriate service level when they come to our stores." To be sure, Starbucks is hardly the only U. corporate giant to keep a gimlet eye on its bottom line -- among Fortune 500 companies that approach to management is the rule, not the exception, and CEOs across the land defend it as an inviolable fiduciary duty to shareholders.

But baristas say Starbucks' focus on profits and cost-cutting has increasingly led its leadership to tune workers out.

Locke, who has worked for the company since 2006 and who earns roughly ,000 a year, said she yearned for the Starbucks of old."When I started they had a training program and taught you how to be a coffee expert.

There was more of a culture of supporting each other as co-workers. I really enjoyed it."Asked why she stays at Starbucks, Locke said her employment options are limited because she lacks a college education and because her only professional experience is in retail. According to workers, the best thing Starbucks can do for its apron-wearers is to raise their pay and offer full-time hours instead of the 20 to 30 hours that most employees work.

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