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Starbucks refuses to send interim CEO Schultz to testify at Senate hearing



© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz delivers remarks at the Starbucks 2016 Investor Day in Manhattan, New York, U.S., December 7, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

(Reuters) – Starbucks Corp (NASDAQ:) said on Thursday it has no plans to send interim Chief Executive Officer Howard Schultz to testify at a Senate hearing on the company’s compliance with federal labor law.

The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee’s chairman Bernie Sanders said on Wednesday the committee will vote next week on whether to issue a subpoena for Schultz.

The committee also will vote on authorizing the panel to investigate labor law violations by major corporations.

Schultz last month declined an invitation from 11 senators to testify before the committee on March 9.

Starbucks maintains its Chief Communications and Public Affairs Officer AJ Jones is best positioned to fully address the workforce policy matters raised by members of the committee.

The company has also offered to send May Jensen, vice president for partner and labor relations, and Zabrina Jenkins, acting executive vice president and general counsel, according to a letter posted on its website.

Democratic Party members have accused Starbucks of not engaging in fair negotiations with employees who are joining labor unions. The coffee company has rebutted the claims and asserted it values its workers’ right to assemble and participate in legal union-related endeavors.

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