Starbucks tries to thwart Bernie Sanders’ bid to subpoena Howard Schultz

WASHINGTON — Starbucks is pushing again in opposition to Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and the Senate Well being, Training, Labor and Pensions Committee he chairs forward of a vote anticipated subsequent week to subpoena interim CEO Howard Schultz as a part of an investigation into federal labor regulation.

“Respectfully, Howard Schultz just isn’t the fitting witness for the listening to,” Zabrina Jenkins, Starbucks’ appearing govt vp and normal counsel, wrote within the letter, which was addressed to Sanders, rating member Invoice Cassidy, R-La., and the remainder of the HELP Committee.

Jenkins mentioned Schultz “assumed the interim ceo function 9 months after the problems concerning unions arose and has been targeted on the reinvention plan of Starbucks since that point.” She mentioned he’ll “stop to be the interim ceo of the corporate this month.”

Sanders, who constructed his nationwide profile as a pro-labor populist, is making an attempt to research dozens of complaints that Starbucks violated federal labor regulation and different accusations of unfair labor practices leveled in opposition to the corporate below Schultz’s management. Starbucks has defended its actions, together with submitting countercomplaints in opposition to the unions.

Sanders rapidly rejected the request, responding in a letter that “the Senate HELP Committee invited Howard Schultz to testify, not a subordinate, as a result of he’s the person who engineered and continues to make labor choices at Starbucks.”

The corporate requested that others testify as a substitute. Jenkins provided herself, in addition to AJ Jones II, the chief vp and chief communications officer, and Could Jensen, the vp for accomplice and labor relations.

Sanders instructed NBC Information this week that he expects to carry a committee vote subsequent week on subpoenaing Schultz and that he is eying March 15 for him to testify.

“Look, the underside line right here just isn’t difficult. You’ve a multibillionaire named Mr. Schultz, who’s head of a worthwhile, multinational company, who apparently thinks that he doesn’t have to concentrate to the regulation,” Sanders mentioned, mentioning citations in opposition to him by the Nationwide Labor Relations Board. “That’s not what ought to go on in America. All of us have ought to have one system of justice, whether or not you’re a billionaire or whether or not you’re anyone else. And sadly, we don’t have that proper now. So I sit up for having Mr. Schultz earlier than the committee to reply questions why he thinks he can break federal regulation.”

A subpoena requires majority assist on the committee, on which Democrats have an 11-to-10 benefit over Republicans. Cassidy mentioned he will not assist the subpoena.

“I believe we’re in fairly fine condition,” Sanders mentioned. “I believe we’re robust among the many Democrats. And I hope that we’ll have Republican assist, as nicely.”

Liz Brown-Kaiser contributed.

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