New York

Starbucks interim CEO Howard Schultz will testify earlier than a Senate committee concerning the firm’s labor practices on March 29, a reversal of Schultz’s earlier refusal.

“I’m joyful to announce that Howard Schultz, the CEO and founding father of Starbucks, has lastly agreed to testify earlier than the Senate HELP Committee,” Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt) mentioned in an announcement Tuesday. Sanders chairs the Senate Well being, Schooling, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee, which had deliberate to vote on whether or not to subpoena Schultz to testify on Wednesday.

The espresso firm has been preventing a rising wave of unionization below Schultz’s management. Since Schultz rejoined the corporate as interim CEO in April of final 12 months, and even earlier than, he has mentioned repeatedly that he doesn’t suppose Starbucks staff ought to unionize.

“I sit up for listening to from Mr. Schultz as to when he intends to finish his unlawful anti-union actions and start signing honest first contracts with the unions,” Sanders mentioned.

Schultz in February declined Sanders’ request to testify earlier than the committee, noting that Schultz will hand over CEO duties to incoming CEO Laxman Narasimhan in April. Starbucks mentioned on the time that it could ship that its chief public affairs officer and govt vp, AJ Jones II, as an alternative.

However “after constructive discussions with Committee workers, we’ve got agreed that interim chief govt officer Howard Schultz will testify on behalf of Starbucks,” Starbucks’ chief counsel Zabrina Jenkins mentioned in a letter despatched to Sanders and the remainder of the committee on Tuesday, which was offered to CNN by Starbucks.

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