Starbucks' Howard Schultz agrees to testify at Senate hearing over alleged union busting

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Starbucks' interim CEO Howard Schultz will appear at a Senate hearing on March 29 about the company's alleged union busting.

Why it matters: The coffee chain had resisted prior requests, arguing that because Schultz would be stepping down in March, it would make more sense for another senior leader to testify, CNBC reports.

  • Schultz's agreement today follows pressure of a subpoena from Sen. Bernie Sanders.

The big picture: The National Labor Relations Board has lodged 77 complaints against Starbucks since around 2019 for unfair practices.

  • Last week, a federal administrative law judge ruled that the company committed "egregious and widespread misconduct" while trying to stop labor union campaigns.

Context: Starbucks brought Schultz back in April 2022 for his third stint as CEO.

  • His opposition toward unions is emotional, friends and longtime colleagues told the New York Times, rooted in his belief that Starbucks is a model employer.

What to watch: Of the roughly 9,300 company-operated locations in the U.S., 290 have voted to unionize. None have successfully negotiated a contract with Starbucks.

Go deeper

  • Workers "fired up" despite dip in union representation

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