You’d never know from watching this Fox show’s discussion that Starbucks has been issued more than 80 complaints for violating federal labor law.
Host Neil Cavuto opened by sarcastically calling the hearing “that august battle” and taking a potshot at the senators, saying, “Not many who have experienced a business themselves, or putting together a spreadsheet, or even understanding basic math, yet quizzing this guy on the propriety of what he does.” Then he asked contributor Gary Kaltbaum, “Your thoughts?”
Kaltbaum rattled off the business’ “astounding” success: “Starbucks started in 1971, one store, 1992 went public. A spilt adjusted 30 cents, it’s now $100, 400,000 employees, $115 billion market cap.” As if that were a good reason to ignore any anti-labor practices.
“On the other side you have Bernie Sanders, a politician for five decades, so you know where I stand,” Kaltbaum continued. “For some reason, they have something against success, they have something against wealth, and something against a company that’s done everything right. If you go to the website of Starbucks, the things they do for their employees from college. If you have a family emergency, they will partner with you and help you out, little things like that, not to mention the climate and everything else. This is all about unions, it’s all about control.”
Cavuto added, “Hundreds of thousands of jobs all over the world, and all of these educations and other rights that have been extended, now a lot of people look at that, well, it sells $5, $6, $7 cups of coffee.” “With the exception of those workers not being called union workers, they are often times and in most cases paid a lot more than union workers, and getting stuck on whether they’re part of a union rather than the fact they have a job kind of gets it ass backwards doesn’t it?”
“Yeah, be careful what you wish for,” Kaltbaum replied. “Their wages on average are higher than every state wage in this country Neil, and that’s the amazing part of this. For Bernie Sanders to whine and complain - again, it all comes back to the friends and the votes and the unions.”
Kaltbaum said Starbucks “should be applauded.” Then he repeated his attack on Sanders: “I call him a control freak. That’s what I think socialism and socialists are about, has to have his pound of flesh.”
“I’m not an apologist for Howard Schultz,” Cavuto said “He’s clearly a progressive. He’s one of these who has aligned himself with all the things that Bernie Sanders holds dear, but I just wonder on this union push, why not let workers decide, and in a couple of cases of a couple of stores, that’s what they decided.”
That’s the problem. Starbucks has not let workers decide the way they’re supposed to. From PBS NewsHour:
In recent months, multiple federal judges have ruled that Starbucks illegally fired workers in both Buffalo, New York, and Memphis, Tennessee. NLRB Administrative Law Judge Michael Rosas cited Starbucks’ “egregious and widespread misconduct” in his March 2 ruling, which consolidated 35 unfair labor practice complaints against the company.
Steven Greenhouse, a former New York Times journalist who covers labor issues, said the hearing could shed light on the Starbucks allegations for those who may not know the full scope, as well as embarrass the internationally known brand.
Greenhouse thinks Sanders “hopes to open the public’s eyes to what’s happening, to see that Starbucks is really acting unfairly and illegally and trying to stop a union.”
The National Labor Relations Board, a federal agency aimed at protecting workers’ rights, has issued more than 80 complaints against Starbucks for violating federal labor law.
This Fox segment was more a commercial for Starbucks than an interview. All that was needed was for both Cavuto and Kaltbaum to have a Starbucks cup with them.
You can watch the two provide a one-side only perspective below, from the March 29, 2023 Your World.