Watch: Bernie Sanders blasts Starbucks CEO for 'waging' a 'vicious and illegal union-busting campaign'

Watch: Bernie Sanders blasts Starbucks CEO for 'waging' a 'vicious and illegal union-busting campaign'

On Wednesday morning, March 29, the Senate HELP Committee (Health, Education, Labor and Pensions) held a hearing on Starbucks' labor practices. And Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont), who chairs the Committee, was vehemently critical of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz and slammed him for fighting the unionization efforts of Starbucks employees.

Schultz listened as the 81-year-old Vermont senator, 2016/2020 presidential candidate and self-described "democratic socialist" declared, "Starbucks has waged the most aggressive and illegal union-busting campaign in the modern history of our country. That union busting campaign has been led by Howard Schultz…. who is with us this morning only under the threat of subpoena."

The Starbucks CEO looked annoyed as Sanders continued, "Let us be clear about the nature of Starbucks' vicious anti-union efforts. The National Labor Relations Board, NLRB, has filed over 80 complaints against Starbucks for violating federal labor law. There have been over 500 unfair labor practice charges lodged against the company, and judges have found that Starbucks broke the law 130 times across six states since workers began organizing in the fall of 2021."

READ MORE:'Believe they are above the law': Outrage as Starbucks moves to close first unionized shop in Seattle

Sanders added, "These violations include the illegal firing of more than a dozen Starbucks workers for the crime of exercising their right to form a union and to collectively bargain for better wages, benefits and working conditions."

Starbucks, in its original incarnation, was founded in Seattle's Pike Place in 1971 as a store that sold coffee beans. In the 1980s, Schultz bought Starbucks and converted it into a chain of coffee houses, and the company enjoyed considerable growing during the 1990s and 2000s as the "gourmet coffee" trend grew in popularity.

Schultz, in February, initially resisted Sanders' request to testify before the HELP Committee, but the Starbucks CEO subsequently agreed to testify when the Vermont senator said he would subpoena him.

READ MORE:The Horrifying Truth About Starbucks: It's Always Been a Symbol of Class Privilege and Social Cleansing

Watch the video below or at this link.

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