Statement from AFL-CIO President Liz Shuler on former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee testimony:
Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s feeble attempt before the Senate HELP Committee to deny the atrocious union-busting his company is waging against its own workers was an affront to all working people. Starbucks has repeatedly violated the legally protected right of its workers to join a union. Schultz had the audacity to sit before U.S. Senators and tell legislators they should take him at his word, not the 7,000 workers at nearly 300 U.S. stores who voted to form a union.
From captive audience meetings to the illegal firings of organizing baristas to refusing to enter into contract negotiations with workers who have won union elections, Starbucks is the new poster child for the suppression of workers’ fundamental rights.
Starbucks is a textbook example of illegal union-busting, but the company is far from alone.
Every day, companies across this country resort to unlawful, brutal tactics to prevent working people from organizing.
It’s past time for our elected leaders to hold lawless corporations and their overpaid bosses accountable for violating the rights of workers. The solution is to fix our broken labor laws and pass legislation like the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, which would finally crack down on illegal union-busting and give workers a fair shot to join or form a union.
Our message to newly installed Starbucks CEO Laxman Narasimhan is simple: Throw away the union-busting playbook, listen to and respect your workers, and negotiate a contract in good faith.
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