Sanders-Led Committee Releases Damning Report on Starbucks’s Anti-Union Activity

“Starbucks has engaged in probably the most important union-busting marketing campaign in fashionable historical past,” mentioned Sen. Bernie Sanders.

A Senate committee headed by Bernie Sanders of Vermont launched a report late Sunday geared toward debunking Starbucks’ narrative that it helps employees’ rights and has not dedicated large-scale violations of U.S. labor legislation — claims that former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz will probably repeat when he testifies earlier than the panel later this week.

Since late 2021, when Buffalo employees voted to type the corporate’s first union within the U.S. and set off a motion that rapidly swept the nation, “Starbucks has adopted an aggressively anti-union stance that’s mirrored in Schultz’s public statements, the corporate’s communications to employees, and its scorched-earth strategy to blocking unionization exercise,” the new report states.

“Although the espresso big claims they’re a ‘progressive’ firm, there’s mounting proof that the $113 billion-dollar firm’s anti-union efforts embody a sample of flagrant violations of federal labor legislation,” the report continues. “The Nationwide Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has filed over 80 complaints towards Starbucks for violating federal labor legislation and there have been over 500 unfair labor follow costs lodged towards this firm. These violations embody the unlawful firing of greater than a dozen Starbucks employees for ‘the crime’ of exercising their proper to type a union and collectively discount for higher wages, advantages, and dealing circumstances.”

The Senate Well being, Schooling, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee’s majority workers report was revealed forward of Schultz’s deliberate testimony on Wednesday, an look that the billionaire — who has led Starbucks’ aggressive union-busting marketing campaign — resisted for weeks earlier than finally relenting earlier this month below menace of subpoena.

The report additionally comes days after Starbucks employees throughout the nation went on strike and outlined their demands — together with a beginning hourly wage of $20, assured hours for full-time employees, and 100% employer-covered healthcare — forward of the corporate’s Thursday shareholder assembly, the primary below new CEO Laxman Narasimhan.

Whereas Starbucks says it “respects staff’ proper to prepare,” the HELP Committee report notes, the corporate in follow has “taken a firmly anti-union place” and has proven it’s “keen to do no matter it takes to cease employees from organizing” by firing dozens of union leaders, surveilling and punishing pro-union staff, and promising better benefits for non-union places.

“NLRB judges have discovered that Starbucks broke the legislation 130 instances throughout six states since employees started organizing in fall 2021,” the HELP report states. “The NLRB can be at present taking Starbucks to trial in 70 extra instances.”

The report goes on to problem Starbucks’ declare that it’s bargaining in good religion with employees who’ve voted to affix Employees United. Not one of the practically 300 places which have made the selection to unionize since December 2021 have secured a primary contract.

“It has been over 450 days because the first Starbucks shops voted to type a union. Starbucks has not taken any significant steps to make progress towards really negotiating a contract in that point interval,” the report observes. “On November 30, 2022, the NLRB discovered that Starbucks has unlawfully refused to acknowledge and discount with the union at its Reserve Roastery Retailer in Seattle following an election in Could 2022. Starbucks has appealed the NLRB’s resolution to the Ninth Circuit.”

The committee’s evaluation — which additionally takes on the corporate’s declare that it’s a “mannequin employer” and that the unionization push doesn’t replicate the needs of the vast majority of its workforce — concludes that “Starbucks has engaged in probably the most important union-busting marketing campaign in fashionable historical past.”

“Simply because Starbucks is a $113 billion firm and Howard Schultz is a billionaire with a web value of $3.7 billion doesn’t imply that they’re above the legislation,” the report says. “They have to be held accountable for making a tradition that enables widespread violations of federal labor legislation in an effort to cease employees from exercising their constitutional proper to prepare.”

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