Starbucks Chief Executive Howard Schultz has declined an invitation to testify before a U.S. Senate committee on the company’s compliance with federal labor law. Eleven senators, including U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, who chairs a committee on labor issues, requested Schultz’s participation by February 14th. Schultz, however, declined and will fully transition out of his interim CEO role next month.
In his place, Starbucks’ executive vice president and chief public affairs officer AJ Jones II will be available to address workforce policy matters. While Starbucks Workers United has won elections at more than 260 U.S. stores, they have also lost about 70 elections since late 2021. The union is seeking increased pay and benefits, improved health and safety conditions, and protections against unfair firings and discipline.
Sanders has criticized Starbucks, accusing the company of fighting their workers every step of the way, including refusing to bargain in good faith, delay tactics, and union-busting. Starbucks says it respects the right of its employees to organize and engage in lawful union activities, and that it has held more than 80 single-store contract bargaining sessions since October.
While Schultz has declined to testify, Starbucks is committed to transparency and addressing the concerns of its employees and the public. Starbucks’ executive vice president and general counsel, Zabrina Jenkins, explained that given Schultz’s impending transition out of his operating role in the company, it is best for another senior leader with ongoing responsibilities to address these matters.
In conclusion, Starbucks continues to address labor concerns, but with Schultz’s transition out of his role as CEO and Jones’ availability to address workforce policy matters, the Senate hearing will proceed without Schultz’s testimony. Starbucks is committed to addressing the concerns of its employees and the public in a transparent and responsible manner.
Have a tip we should know? email@example.com