Starbucks CEO Sees Health-Care Crisis
Seattle, Starbucks expects to spend more than $200 million this year for health care for its 80,000 U.S. employees, more than the total amount it spends on the raw materials or green coffee it buys from Africa, Indonesia, and other countries, according to a report in the Thursday edition of The Seattle Times. Starbucks has been widely heralded for its policy of providing health-care coverage to employees who work at least 20 hours a week.
Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz made the comments in a meeting with Sen. Patty Murray and Rep. Adam Smith in Washington, D.C. He and other executives, including Costco CEO Jim Sinegal, were in the nation’s capital to attend a health-care summit. Schultz said his company has faced double-digit increases in insurance costs each of the past four years.
“It’s completely nonsustainable,” he said, in remarks quoted in the newspaper.
Schultz and the other executives are looking to bring attention to what they believe is a growing crisis threatening U.S. businesses. The Starbucks chief executive did not endorse any specific legislation, but he reaffirmed his belief that every American should have access to health insurance.
Food Retailers Seek Support To Serve Returning Families, Displaced Employees
Washington, D.C., Hundreds of supermarkets recovering from Hurricane Katrina need immediate help to prepare their stores for the return of families who evacuated their communicates the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) said yesterday, responding to requests from Congress and the Department of Homeland Security for disaster relief recommendations.
FMI provided Congress a list of industry needs. The most important immediate requests include:
Giant Denies Store Closing Reports
Landover, Md., Contrary to recent reports, Giant Food says it has no plans to shutter or rename stores. Rather, according to the president and CEO Marc Smith, the chain will renovate 18 Giant stores over the next two years, causing temporary closure while each of the 18 is renovated. “We have no current plans to permanently close any Giant store operations in any market areas, nor do we plan to convert Giant stores to the Stop & Shop trade name,” said Smith.
Reports of store closures circulated when parent company Ahold shut down four Super G stores in southern New Jersey and converted the remaining area Super G locations to Stop & Shop stores. The company said that was to provide “increased synergies with Stop & Shop’s existing operations in New Jersey.”