It looks as if Philly baristas started a national trend: “radical" wage transparency among coffee shop workers.
A few weeks ago, baristas at many of the city’s locally owned coffee shops began sharing how much they make on a Google spreadsheet. Now, baristas in a dozen U.S. cities and regions have followed suit, as first reported by Coworker.org, an online platform that seeks to help workers "solve problems and advance change in the workplace.” Some have cited the Philly spreadsheet as inspiration.
The spreadsheet, started by a barista who has chosen to remain anonymous, is the latest in a series of crowdsourced wage spreadsheets seeking to increase solidarity among workers and improve working conditions at cafes. The coffee shop effort was inspired by a museum workers’ spreadsheet started in part by a Philadelphia Museum of Art curator in May.
“Coffee wages are very secretive,” said a manager at a locally owned coffee shop who asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation at work. That’s why the spreadsheet has been so valuable, the manager said. Now he has information about other stores and can use that to advocate for higher wages for his workers.
There are nearly 200 entries on the Philadelphia spreadsheet, launched three weeks ago. Several coffee shops listed multiple times, including ReAnimator Coffee, Ultimo Coffee, and Rival Bros., confirmed to The Inquirer that the wages listed as of last week looked accurate. The lowest wages, according to the spreadsheet, are about $8 to $9 an hour at Saxbys, OCF Coffee Shop, and La Colombe. (La Colombe said its baristas make $16 an hour counting tips.) The highest wage listed was about $12 an hour at Starbucks.
So far, barista spreadsheets have been launched in
Coworker.org is keeping a running list of the spreadsheets in this Twitter thread.