Howard Schultz returns to Starbucks as CEO amid worker uprisings

former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz makes a temporary solution return to role He cleared faces as a company 13 years ago union challenges.

Schultz spent three decades with the Seattle-based company, helping grow it from 11 stores to a global brand with over 28,000 locations. The company emphasized that the position is voluntary and Schultz will receive $1 in compensation.

AOC CHEERS FLAGSHIP NYC STARBUCKS STORE AGREES WITH UNION SUMMARY: ‘ANOTHER HUGE VICTORY’

He replaces President and CEO Kevin Johnson, who has left the company as the company faces growing demands for unionization among its employees.

More than 160 Starbucks locations have petitioned the National Labor Relations Board to hold union elections after two Buffalo, NY stores completed the unionization process in December 2021. The company reported a Record high for its stock last summer, spurring demand for better wages and benefits.

Schultz has never faced union efforts, and the company faces allegations of intimidation and retaliation against those campaigning and attempting to organize the votes.

AMAZON WORKERS AT STATEN ISLAND LOCATION VOTE FOR UNION, FIRST IN COMPANY HISTORY

His return prompted Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-VT, to issue a warning not to stand in the way of union organizing.

“If Starbucks can afford to spend $20 billion on stock repurchases and dividends and provide it with a $20 million compensation package [outgoing] CEO, it can afford a unionized workforce that can collectively negotiate better wages, better benefits, safer working conditions and reliable schedules,” Sanders wrote to Schultz.

ticker security Last To change To change %
SBUX STARBUCKS CORP. 91.49 +0.52 +0.57%
AMZN AMAZON.COM INC. 3,271.20 +11.25 +0.35%
K KELOGG CO. 65.61 +1.12 +1.74%

“This is a pivotal moment for Starbucks,” he added. “When you return to the company, it’s time to do the right thing: end union busting and obey the law.”

But Schultz insists he is a friend of the employees, and points to the difficulties facing his family after his father’s work accident.

MEMBERS OF KELLOGG’S KANSAS UNION RATIFY NEW CONTRACT AND RECEIVE ‘HISTORICAL’ PAY RISE

In a November letter to employees, released just before the first union votes, about his own efforts to provide strong benefits for health care, tuition, parental leave and stock benefits.

“No affiliate has ever had to have a rep trying to get things that we all have as affiliates at Starbucks. And I am saddened and concerned to hear that anyone thinks this is necessary now,” Schultz wrote.

However, some union officials complain that the company instead offers inconsistent working hours, poor training, understaffing and low wages. Others point to the company’s early days, claiming that Schultz took strong anti-union stances after assuming his post as CEO of the then fledgling company.

CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT FOX BUSINESS

Harvard Business School historian Nancy Koehn told NPR she expects Schultz to set up “listening sessions” with employees to help shape the company’s priorities upon his return.

“Howard has an uncanny and, I think, unusually powerful ability to understand the zeitgeist of a given moment — socially, politically, psychologically, economically,” she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Leave a Comment