IN AN INTERVIEW, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz told Andrew Ross Sorkin that he would not work with unions. He wants no third party working with his employees.
Starbucks CEC is anti-union.
CNBC Anchor & New York Times columnist Andrew Ross Sorkin asked Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz — paraphrased — if he could ever see unions as a part of the Starbucks equation. He gave a definite no.
I have always loved the Starbucks environment and its baristas. I wrote two of my books sitting in a Starbucks, drinking gallons of coffee, and eating every salad, sandwich, and donut they sell. I did that because it is true that they treat, for the most part, their employees very well. They get better benefits than most corporations, and many have upward mobility. That said, workers should never leave their well-being to chance or the preferred choice of a publicly-traded company whose oath is to the shareholder and corporate executives.
Starbucks happens to be in a high-margin business; after all, you are buying a few ounces of flavored water at a much higher price than a gallon of gasoline. Being nice to employees was not difficult. However, as the growth expectations of Starbucks shareholders continue, a unionless employee would likely pay the price.
Schultz’s implication that having a union would affect the customer experience makes no sense. A happy and secure employee is much better than one who lives knowing that the corporation just sees them as a cost-producing widget. Schultz thinks he is the patriarch who knows best. HUBRIS!
Sorkin attempted to coax Schultz into being more flexible about unions by reminding him that his company is a progressive company that effectively did the right things by its employee. He did not budge. The evil of our business-first and the disposable employee is but a part of a new form of antiseptic slavery that continues. Every American worker should be in a union. After all, every corporation is in at least one union; they don’t call them unions.