CEO Of Starbucks Howard Schultz To To Testify Before The Senate Help Committee

It started with a successful vote at a Buffalo, New York, location in December 2021. By February 2022, Starbucks workers' unionization efforts had spread to at least 19 states. Fast-forward to December 8, and workers at 262 stores in close to 40 states had voted to continue what Buffalo started (via CNBC). The movement is still growing as more Starbucks locations try to unionize. But there's been major pushback from the corporate side of the picture.

Employees have alleged that Starbucks is illegally union-busting, and the National Labor Relations Board even got involved when interim CEO Howard Schultz said that Starbucks would increase wages – but only for employees in nonunion stores. The NLRB has also filed complaints related to accusations that the company fired and spied on employees as well as closed down Starbucks stores.

Senator Bernie Sanders has been trying to get Schultz to testify in front of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and today, Schultz has agreed to do so

Why is Howard Schultz testifying in front of the Senate now?

When the NLRB complained about Starbucks' labor practices in May 2022, it claimed that the company ran afoul of labor laws over 200 times, some of which allegedly included anti-union actions (via Bloomberg Law). More recently, a 200-page court decision found that Starbucks had indeed committed hundreds of violations against workers. There was clearly a lot of explaining to do. But last month, Howard Schultz refused Bernie Sanders' request to testify. CNN reported that Starbucks' general counsel said Schultz couldn't testify because he will exit the CEO role in April. The company's next CEO, Laxman Narasimhan, wouldn't be answering Senate questions, either. Instead, Starbucks volunteered to have someone in a lower position face lawmakers.

Unpersuaded by these arguments, Sanders planned on subpoenaing Schultz, but the CEO agreed to testify before the subpoena vote was expected to happen. The senator from Vermont won't be the only person waiting to see what he has to say. In a press release received by Mashed, Starbucks Workers United said, "Baristas across the country will be following this hearing to listen to Schultz, under oath, describe his leadership in Starbucks' illegal campaign against our union effort. Howard Schultz needs to learn that even billionaires aren't above the law." Schultz will be testifying in front of U.S. officials on March 29.