UNITED STATES: Howard Schultz, Starbucks Corp’s Chief Executive, declined an invitation to testify coffee company’s compliance with federal labor law on Mar 9. 11 senators had invited him to testify.
US Senator Bernie Sanders, who chairs a committee on labor issues and 10 other committee members, gave Schultz a deadline to decide by Feb 14. Sanders or his office did not immediately comment on the Starbucks letter.
According to Starbucks, AJ Jones II, a former senior aide to Democratic Representative James Clyburn, is apparently the best person to tackle issues regarding workforce policy matters.
Zabrina Jenkins, Starbuck’s acting executive vice president and general counsel, wrote in a letter that was retrieved by a source, “given the timing of the transition, his relinquishment of any operating role in the company going forward and what we understand to be the subject of the hearing, we believe another senior leader with ongoing responsibilities is best suited to address these matters.”
According to Jenkins, in April 2022, Schultz re-joined Starbucks and would “fully transition” out of the role in March 2023.
Sanders last month took the role as a chair of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) committee and stated to Starbucks that it “has fought their workers every step of the way, including refusing to negotiate a first contract in good faith, utilizing delay tactics, and significantly escalating union busting.”
Starbucks Workers United won elections in more than 260 US stores despite losing nearly 70 elections since 2021. The union’s ultimate motifs have been to ensure increased and just pay and perks, health and safety conditions and immunity and protections against unjust firings and discipline.
With more than 8-single-store contract bargaining sessions since October, Starbucks mentions that employees can engage and organize in lawful union activities to maintain goodwill.
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