Our response to Chairman Sanders & other Members of the Senate HELP Committee

Building on our commitment to transparent communication, Starbucks representatives have been engaged in an ongoing dialogue with Senator Sanders’s office and other Members of Congress for months regarding our longstanding efforts to create opportunity for our partners and to address questions related to current labor union activity. In recent correspondence, Chairman Sanders and other Democratic members of the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) requested that interim ceo Howard Schultz appear for a proposed March 9, 2023 hearing. 

In our response, dated Feb. 14, 2023, we acknowledge the Committee’s request and underscore Mr. Schultz’s plans to fully transition out of the role as interim ceo and any future operating role beginning in March. In our continued commitment to transparency, we also offered to make executive vice president and chief public affairs officer AJ Jones II available to appear at the proposed hearing on behalf of the company.

Given his extensive workforce expertise and relevant involvement in company operations, we believe that Mr. Jones is best positioned to fully address the workforce policy matters raised. Notably, Mr. Jones has been intimately involved in workforce development issues throughout his career, and has worked closely with Senator Sanders and members of his office on a range of issues while serving as the first and highest ranking African American policy director in the U.S. House of Representatives as part of Majority Whip Rep. James Clyburn’s office. 

Through a productive dialogue, we hoped to show how Starbucks has been, and continues to be, a recognized industry leader and employer of choice for more than 235,000 U.S. partners. Notably, our partner-first approach – which has driven the continued expansion of our comprehensive compensation and benefits offerings and has helped to foster and sustain a supportive, Third Place environment – has been consistently recognized by Aon Hewitt, JUST Capital’s JUST 100 list, Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies List, Diversity First’s Top 50 Companies for Diversity and Newsweek’s America’s Greatest Workplaces for Diversity, among others.

Our Board of Directors and executive leadership team are fully aligned in our belief that we can achieve more together by working side-by-side with our partners. At those stores where our partners have chosen to petition for union representation, we respect their rights to organize and engage in lawful union activities, have fully honored the process laid out by the NLRB and have worked to ensure that partners can trust the process is fair and their voice is heard.

Counter to public claims, Starbucks has also come to the table in-person and in good faith for more than 85 single-store contract bargaining sessions since Oct. 2022 – with more than 60 additional single-store sessions scheduled or proposed across the country through March 2023. 

We remain committed to all partners and will continue to work together to make Starbucks a company that works for everyone. 

Read our full response