Bye, Felicia!

Matthew G. Saroff
3 min readMar 24, 2023

Howard Schultz, long time head of Starbucks and a union busting son of a bitch, is stepping down as CEO of the coffee giant. (again)

He’s leaving 2 weeks early, just before the annual meeting, and just before he testifies before Congress.

His behavior over the years has been appalling, and over the past few years, as the union organizing efforts at Starbucks has expanded, he has destroyed the company’s reputation among its customers and his employees (sorry, “partners”) almost as thoroughly as Carly Fiorina destroyed HP.

Here’s hoping that his both as a corporate executive and as a political candidate, (he [sort of] ran for President in 2029) is over forever.

The man is a cancer on society:

On Monday, interim Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz stepped down from his position about two weeks ahead of his previously announced schedule — and three days before the company’s annual shareholder meeting. Schultz will be testifying under oath on the national stage next week about the company’s labor practices under him and his predecessors. The outgoing executive only agreed to testify under threat of a subpoena from Senator Bernie Sanders, who called Schultz out publicly in his position as head of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions.

My guess is that he was pushed, and he was told that if he were still CEO at the shareholders’ meeting he would be subject to. [unfortunately only] metaphorical poo flinging, so it was best for him to exit early.


Schultz portrays himself as a working-class kid from the Brooklyn projects who grew up to found a $100-billion-plus company and become a billionaire himself. He lived the American dream, and he did it while supposedly maintaining progressive values at the company, like LGBTQ friendliness, health insurance for part-timers, fair treatment for people of color, and more. He even wants you to know that he cares deeply about his company’s workers.


But if that image reflected the reality for Starbucks baristas, large numbers of them wouldn’t be on Medicaid or without a living wage. And they wouldn’t be organizing unions in mass numbers, as they have been recently, and calling attention to Schultz’s own abuses and that of the company under his tenure.

In reality, Schultz is a CEO who fights unions and their first contract. He has opposed his workers’ attempts to secure their rights and well-being, with Starbucks illegally undermining its own workers’ rights hundreds of times for decades under his influence and leadership.

In the past year and a half alone, Starbucks has closed stores where workers were in the middle of union drives, closed stores that already had unionized, cut workers’ hours, offered benefits and raises to nonunion stores, held captive-audience meetings at which managers bully and intimidate workers with anti-union messages, and much more, creating a climate of retaliation.


Because of the work of SBWU and allies like other labor organizations and Senator Sanders, Schultz is now among the best known union-busters in the country. The idea of him heading the Department of Labor as a progressive choice wouldn’t pass the laugh test at this point. One hopes that other union-busting CEOs are similarly put through the ringer by the labor movement.

Howard, your coffee sucks. It tastes like a charcoal briquette , and you suck even worse.

I hope Bernie Sanders flays you alive at the hearings.