Watch live: Longtime Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz testifies at Senate hearing Wednesday
Longtime Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz will face sharp questioning Wednesday when he appears before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee to defend the company's actions during an ongoing unionizing campaign.
U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a Vermont Independent who has been a vocal supporter of Starbucks labor organizers, has been seeking Schultz's testimony for months. Schultz had tried to sidestep the hearing, suggesting that others in the company were more deeply involved in the union effort, which Starbucks opposes.
But Sanders had argued that Schultz — a longtime leader who stepped down as interim CEO last week but remains on the company’s board — was instrumental in setting the company's policies. Under threat of a subpoena, Schultz agreed to testify.
USA TODAY will stream the testimony and have full coverage of the hearing.
At least 293 of Starbucks' 9,000 company-owned U.S. Starbucks stores have voted to unionize since late 2021, according to the National Labor Relations Board. Starbucks Workers United, the labor group organizing the stores, has yet to reach a contract agreement with Starbucks at any of those stores.
Workers say they're seeking higher pay, more consistent schedules and better benefits. But Starbucks argues that it already provides some of the best pay and benefits in the industry, and says its stores function better when it works directly with employees.
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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Watch: Howard Schultz Senate hearing testimony on Starbucks, unions