Former Starbucks CEO Testifies In Congressional Hearing

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz testified that allegations against the company for breaking labor laws are false.


J. Scott Applewhite

Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz faces allegations for breaking union labor laws.

Lily Wilkin, Co-Copy Editor

On Wednesday March 29, former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz testified before Congress for allegations against the company for breaking labor union laws.  Schultz had previously been an advocate for equal pay and union rights. 

During his testimony, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders was one of the main people interviewing Schultz. 

“Over the past 18 months Starbucks has waged the most aggressive and illegal union-busting campaign in the modern history of our country,” Sanders said.

Starbucks has been heavily criticized for months as they refused to unionize. Federal officials found that Starbucks has violated labor laws at least eight times in the past. Schultz denied all allegations during the hearing and stated that the company had done nothing wrong. 

Many Starbucks employees have spoken out against the company in hopes to make a change.(Paul Bischoff)

“We want to treat everyone with respect and dignity,” Schultz said. “However, I have the right, and the company has the right, to have a preference. And our preference is to maintain the direct relationship we’ve had with our employees, who we call partners.”

Many complaints have been made against the company. Over 300 employees have gone against the company and voted to unionize, and when employees speak up they get fired for “misconduct”. 

Former and current employees wore matching t-shirts to show their support for one another. (Anna Moneymaker)

As the hearing continued however many former and current employees lined the walls of the courtroom wearing matching t-shirts in protest. Following the hearing, Starbucks has made it clear that the company is not going to change its ways, and should hearings continue, the company plans to make appeals.