TORONTO - Starbucks Canada says it's raising wages and benefits amid "critical staffing shortages'' and a renewed commitment to the well-being of its workers.
Beginning in January, the company says its starting wages will be increased to a dollar above provincial minimums, while workers who have been with the company a year will receive a six to 10% pay hike.
It says the wage boost, which will impact about 20,000 workers, will bring the hourly pay for baristas to between $13 and $20.45, depending on location and tenure, while shift supervisors will earn between $15.85 and $24.95.
Starbucks also says it's providing every hourly worker in Canada with three paid shifts off per calendar year for sick days or family care, along with ongoing perks such as free coffee, a subscription to a meditation app and health and dental care.
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The higher wages and benefits come as the coffee company says it has added recruiting specialists to address "critical staffing shortages and difficulties'' in some markets.
Starbucks, which refers to workers as partners, says it's also investing in additional training and new technologies and processes to improve day-to-day tasks in its coffee shops.
The company says the operational and wage investments are designed to retain and recruit the best people and "affirm Starbucks as one of the very best jobs in retail.''
Lori Digulla, senior vice-president and general manager of Starbucks Canada, says the company's investments will improve wages, training and in-store experiences for workers.
"We have been through some of the toughest times our world has ever seen and although we are still living through this immense change, we are moving forward thoughtfully and courageously to always be a company that cares for its people,'' she said in a statement on Wednesday.
"Our partners are the heartbeat of Starbucks and what will always remain is our commitment to sharing our success with our partners.''
Starbucks has about 963 company operated stores and 441 licensed stores in Canada.