Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee (HELP) issued the following statement this week after Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz agreed to testify before the committee on Wednesday, March 29:
“I’m happy to announce that Howard Schultz, the CEO and founder of Starbucks, has finally agreed to testify before the Senate HELP Committee. The HELP Committee was scheduled to vote tomorrow to subpoena him and I want to thank the members of the Committee who, in a bi-partisan way, were prepared to do just that.
“Let’s be clear. In America, workers have the constitutional right to organize unions and engage in collective bargaining to improve their wages and working conditions. Unfortunately Starbucks, under Mr. Schultz’s leadership, has done everything possible to prevent that from happening.
“The National Labor Relations Board has issued over 80 complaints against Starbucks for violating federal labor law and an Administrative Law Judge in New York recently ruled that Starbucks has engaged in ‘egregious and widespread misconduct’ in a union organizing campaign that started in 2019. Despite the fact that over 280 Starbucks coffee shops have successfully voted to form a union over the past year, Starbucks has refused to negotiate in good faith to sign a single first contract with their employees.
“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.”
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