MEDIA ADVISORY: Howard Schultz to Testify at HELP Committee Hearing on Ending the Illegal Union Busting at Starbucks

WASHINGTON, March 24 – Howard Schultz, who helped lead Starbucks for more than forty years and most recently served as CEO of the company, will on Wednesday, March 29 at 10 a.m. ET appear before the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP) at a hearing entitled, “No Company Is Above the Law: The Need to End Illegal Union Busting at Starbucks.”

“Let’s be clear. In America, workers have the constitutional right to organize unions and engage in collective bargaining for higher wages and better working conditions,” said HELP Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.). “Unfortunately Starbucks, under Mr. Schultz’s leadership, has done everything possible to prevent that from happening. The HELP Committee intends to make clear that in America we must not have a two-tiered justice system in which billionaires and large corporations can break the law with impunity, while working class people are held accountable for their actions. I look forward to hearing from Mr. Schultz as to when he intends to end his illegal anti-union activities and begin signing fair first contracts with the unions.”

Since the first store successfully voted to unionize in Buffalo in December of 2021, workers at more than 350 Starbucks in nearly 40 states across the country have held votes to unionize. Over 80 percent of these elections have resulted in a union victory leading to nearly 300 unionized Starbucks coffee shops throughout the country. As a result of Starbucks refusal to bargain in good faith, none of these union victories have resulted in a first contract. Meanwhile, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has issued over 80 complaints against Starbucks for violating federal labor law and there have been over 500 unfair labor practice charges lodged against the company. Mr. Schultz faces nearly 100 charges of violating federal labor law for statements he made during meetings he convened with Starbucks workers throughout the country. Recently, an Administrative Law Judge in New York ruled that Starbucks has engaged in ‘egregious and widespread misconduct’ in a union organizing campaign that started in 2021.

Hearing Details
What: Hearing of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions to consider “No Company is Above the Law: The Need to End Illegal Union Busting at Starbucks”

When: 10:00 a.m. ET, Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Where: Room G50, Dirksen Senate Office Building. The hearing will also be livestreamed on the HELP Committee’s website and Sanders’ social media pages.

Panel I
Howard Schultz, former Starbucks CEO
Panel II
To be announced