Leaked video shows Starbucks CEO warn about ‘outside forces’ as unionization takes hold

Employees at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery in Seattle voted 38-27 on Thursday to unionize as part of a growing national trend at the company, with the vote coming as a leaked video captured Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz talking about “some outside force that’s going to dictate or disrupt who we are and what we do.”

The vote at one of the company’s flagship roastery locations will result in employees joining Workers United, an affiliate of the Service Employees International Union, according to the Seattle Times, which cited the National Labor Relations Board — there were about 100 employees eligible to vote.

“Nationwide, workers at more than 200 company-owned Starbucks locations have filed for union elections or announced they plan to unionize,” the paper reported. “About two dozen stores have voted to unionize, and two have voted no. Workers at some licensed Starbucks locations in airports and grocery stores are already unionized.”

Of the more than 8,000 company-owned Starbucks stores, there are just six Starbucks Reserve Roasteries, which the company calls “theatrical, experimental shrines to coffee passion.”

“As we have said throughout, we will respect the process and will bargain in good faith. We hope that the union does the same,” Reggie Borges, a spokesman for Starbucks, said of the vote in a statement.

The Twitter account ‘More Perfect Union’ shared a video Thursday of Schultz on a call with managers speaking against the unionization efforts, talking about their ability to “overcome obstacles and challenges.”

He identified several challenges the company is facing, from the pandemic to “the post-pandemic customer,” to a “new outside force that’s trying desperately to disrupt our company.”

In another clip, he talked about the critical responsibility store management has in ensuring that employees understand “what it might mean to vote for a union,” while speaking against reports that some employees have been bullied not to vote.

“Now, there are stories — I wasn’t there — but there are stories that people potentially had been bullied not to vote,” Schultz said.

In yet another clip, Rossann Williams, Starbucks’ president for North America, denied there was any union-busting efforts going on, but reportedly told managers that their “number one responsibility” was to get store employees to vote no on unionizing.

“Do your role as a store manager. Make sure your partners get balanced information about what’s going on, especially in this role of us union-busting all over the country,” Williams said.

Starbucks has been accused of firing pro-union baristas and reprimanding other workers who have also been active in the organized labor drive, according to the New York Post.


If you are fed up with letting radical big tech execs, phony fact-checkers, tyrannical liberals and a lying mainstream media have unprecedented power over your news please consider making a donation to American Wire News to help us fight them.

Thank you for your donation!
Tom Tillison


We have no tolerance for comments containing violence, racism, profanity, vulgarity, doxing, or discourteous behavior. If a comment is spam, instead of replying to it please click the ∨ icon below and to the right of that comment. Thank you for partnering with us to maintain fruitful conversation.

Latest Articles