Media that empowers working people – that's how we build a More Perfect Union.

Don't Miss a Video!

Access our exclusive reporting and rapid response actions directly in your inbox, so you don’t miss a beat in the fight for working people nationwide.

Be a part of a community backing up independent journalism with action.

Ideas

Have a story to tell or idea to share?
Email [email protected]
© 2021 More Perfect Union Action

Together we can build power for working people.

We’re asking questions that really matter, and telling the stories of people who really need to be seen and heard.

You can support our work by donating today.

Amount

Make It Monthly

Don't Miss a Video!

Access our exclusive reporting and rapid response actions directly in your inbox, so you don’t miss a beat in the fight for working people nationwide.

Be a part of a community backing up independent journalism with action.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz’s History of Union-Busting

Schultz has been battling the Starbucks unionization movement since the 1980s.

Starbucks’ union movement has pushed CEO Kevin Johnson into retirement. Former Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz is being brought back to take his place as interim CEO. Schultz is a union-buster with a record spanning decades.

Howard Schultz has been virulently anti-union since the 1980s. Schultz created Starbucks by merging two coffee chains. One was unionized — that’s why employees have decent benefits. Schultz made life hell for workers, ran a union-busting campaign, and got them to disband the union.

His 1999 memoir, Pour Your Heart Into It: How Starbucks Built a Company One Cup at a Time, directly addresses his disdain toward unionization. “I was convinced that under my leadership, employees would come to realize that I would listen to their concerns. If they had faith in me and my motives, they wouldn’t need a union,” Schultz writes.

In the late 90s, Starbucks workers tried to unionize again. That brought a ferocious campaign to stop them — which they overcame to win their election at a single store. It was a short-lived success because of the threats and intimidation that followed.

Schultz’s Starbucks continued to fight workers that wanted to organize over the next 20 years. In 2004, a number of cafes tried to unionize. Starbucks ran with many of the same union-busting tactics they’re using today. Back then, they worked. His anti-union vitriol decimated unions organized with International Workers of the World, Operating Engineers Local, and a local branch of United Food and Commerical Workers, respectively.

After Barack Obama became president, it looked as if Democrats were going to pass the Employee Free Choice Act, which would have made unionizing much easier. Schultz lobbied against it over and over again, tried to offer worse options, and helped kill it.

More recently, Starbucks has been found by the NLRB to have illegally fired workers who wanted to unionize. And when Schultz left Starbucks to float his third “centrist” presidential run, he famously said, “unions are not the answer.”

Last November Schultz traveled to bust the powerful union drive in Buffalo. There Schultz’s infamous speech went awry when he compared Starbucks workers to Holocaust victims sharing their blankets at concentration camps. “So much of that story is threaded into what we do at Starbucks is share our blanket,” Schultz said to a ballroom of Starbucks workers.

While the comparison created discomfort for Starbucks workers, it only motivated the unionizing workers more. Now there are six unionized Starbucks and 130+ more voting this spring.

The Latest

YouTube Thumbnail
The Death Of Rural America: Greedy Monopolies And Farmer Suicides
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
Why the Kroger-Albertsons Merger is a Looming Disaster
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
Republicans Want You to Work Until You Die
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
Elon Musk’s Firing Spree Continues: Twitter Janitors Terminated Via Text
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
Four Lies Big Oil Is Feeding You To Keep Gas Prices High
Read More
Wall Street Banks Huge Profits Off Surging Credit Card Debt
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
How Workers Took On A Manufacturing Giant—and Won
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
Playing with Players’ Lives: How the NFL Hid a Crisis Killing Athletes
Read More
Kyrsten Sinema
Sinema’s Private Equity Donations Keep Flowing After Saving Tax Loophole
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
Moderna To Raise Prices Over 400% For Vaccine That Taxpayers Helped Create
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
How The Supreme Court Could Soon Destroy The Right To Strike
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
Cities Are Canceling Medical Debt Thanks to Democrats’ American Rescue Plan
Read More
Bed, Bath & Beyond
Bed, Bath & Beyond’s Ex-CEO Got Rich Bankrupting the Retailer, Now Workers Stand to Lose
Read More
Rep. Virginia Foxx
Millionaire Stock Trader To Lead House Labor Committee For GOP
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
The Fight For $20 Comes To New York
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
Inside A Trader Joe’s Union Contract Bargaining Session
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
How This Billionaire Couple Stole California’s Water Supply
Read More
YouTube Thumbnail
La Colombe Coffee Workers Are Unionizing
Read More
Kevin McCarthy Vowed To Take On Congressional Stock Trading. Now He’s Gone Silent.
Read More
Schumer Freezes Antitrust Bills After Big Tech Lobbyists Bundled Millions
Read More