© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Starbucks Chairman and CEO Howard Schultz delivers remarks at the 2016 Starbucks Investor Day in Manhattan, New York, U.S. December 7, 2016. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo
(Reuters) – Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ:) said Thursday it was not considering sending acting chief executive Howard Schultz to testify at a Senate hearing on the company’s compliance with federal labor laws.
Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee Chairman Bernie Sanders said Wednesday that the committee will vote next week on whether to issue a subpoena to Schultz.
The committee will also vote to authorize the panel to investigate labor rights violations by big business.
Schultz last month declined an invitation from 11 senators to testify before the committee on March 9.
Starbucks maintains that its director of communications and public affairs, AJ Jones, is in the best position to fully respond to labor policy issues raised by committee members.
The company also offered to send in May Jensen, vice president of partner relations and labor, 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 failing to engage in fair negotiations with employees who join unions. The coffee company refuted the allegations and said it values its workers’ right to assemble and participate in legal union-related efforts.