Starbucks CEO agrees to testify on claims of union busting

Schultz received pressure from Senator Bernie Sanders to testify about the company's "lack of compliance with labor laws." 

Published: March 8, 2023 10:55am

Updated: March 8, 2023 11:22am

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz has agreed to testify before the Senate on March 29, in response to the coffee shop chain's alleged unfair labor practices and union busting. 

Schultz had previously said he wouldn't testify, citing his departure from Starbucks at the end of March, but changed his mind amid pressure from Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders, chairman of the Labor committee before which Schultz will testify.

Sanders, a democrat-socialist, says he's concerned about Starbuck's "lack of compliance with labor laws." 

The committee was scheduled vote Wednesday on whether to subpoena Schultz to testify.

Starbucks faces over 80 complaints to the National Labor Relations Board about alleging having violated federal labor laws and faces 500 unfair labor practice charges.

"The time has come to hold Starbucks and Mr. Schultz accountable," Sanders also recently said

Employees at more than 280 Starbucks stores have joined a labor union since 2021, according to Starbucks United. They are seeking better pay, safer stores and more consistent hours among other things. 

Schultz has outwardly opposed unions, believing they clash with Starbucks reputation of a model employer. 

"While Howard Schultz is a multi-billionaire who runs a very profitable multinational corporation, he must understand that he and his company are not above the law," Sanders also said. 

Starbucks investors plan to vote March 23 for an external audit of the coffee chain's labor policies. 

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