Investor Group Puts Pressure On Starbucks To Stop Union-Busting And Start Bargaining With Workers

Last week, workers won union victories at three more Starbucks locations, bringing the total to six.

The union push at the coffee company is happening across the country with petitions filed for union elections at 130 stores.

Management’s union-busting strategy seems to be having little effect. And now an investor group wants the company to stop its union avoidance campaign and go neutral instead.

CNBC reports on this development:

“Several investors, led by Trillium Asset Management, are urging Starbucks to adopt a global policy of neutrality for all current and future attempts of its workers to organize. They also want Starbucks to reach “fair and timely” collective bargains with workers who vote to join the union.

In a letter to Starbucks CEO Kevin Johnson and Chair Mellody Hobson, the coalition of more than 75 investors warns of reputational risk for the coffee giant, citing growing public support for unions.

The outreach comes ahead of Starbucks’ annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday and includes signatories Trillium, SOC Investment Group, Parnassus Investments and New York City Comptroller Brad Lander. The group, which overall has more than $3.4 trillion in assets under management or advisement, says it holds at least $1.2 billion in Starbucks stock. This is the second such letter it has sent to the company’s CEO, the group said.

‘We believe the way Starbucks has responded to union organizing activities suggests a departure from international norms and standards as well as from its commitments to them. Our concerns include Starbucks’ activities at stores that have organized after the Buffalo election such as alleged retaliatory termination of employees and continued captive audience meetings,’ the letter says.

Starbucks did not immediately respond to request for comment.”

For the rest of the story, visit CNBC here.

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