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Starbucks

Workforce

Federal watchdog asks a court to crack down on Starbuck's union resistance

A regional National Labor Relations Board official wants a nationwide cease-and-desist order issued against the chain, alleging many of the practices are illegal. Starbucks denies the assertions.

Leadership

Rossann Williams, head of Starbucks North America, is leaving the company

She had been one of the chain’s most visible executives and declined another position at the company. Sara Trilling, who had led the Asia Pacific region, will step into the role.

Reality Check: Management is worried the focus on employees will temper the importance of patrons. It may not be giving the workers enough credit.

In 2018, following a widely publicized racist incident in one of its stores, the coffee giant opened its restrooms to all. But interim CEO Howard Schlutz says a mental health crisis is putting that policy (and worker safety) in jeopardy.

One of the rulings spared the chain from having to rehire union organizers.

The Bottom Line: The job is one of the industry’s most visible and lucrative positions, but it comes with a big caveat, as the previous chief executive found out.

Interim CEO Howard Schultz told the Wall Street Journal that he isn’t a candidate for the permanent job. But anybody who takes the position will operate under his considerable shadow.

The group supporting the drive says it will earmark the money to pay workers if they walk off their jobs during contract negotiations.

Workers at more than 100 Starbucks units have now voted to organize, and employees of other coffee chains have taken steps to do likewise.

The coffee giant joins McDonald’s in pulling up stakes in the country over the war in Ukraine.

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