My Letter to the New Starbucks CEO

Dear Mr. Narasimhan:

As a shareholder, I am appalled at the 1930’s union busting tactics of Starbucks. (note article link)

I am absolutely dumbfounded as to why a company dedicated to the Fair trade coffee growing practices in developing countries cares so little about it’s employees rights.

This could have been completely prevented by TREATING YOUR EMPLOYEES MUCH BETTER. Note that companies like Costco (a discount warehouse) has high employee retention, low employee theft, and actually walks the walk (not just talk) on valuing their employees.

You can fix this, because, as my grandmother said, “This fish stinks from the head”. This is a polite way of saying you have a management failure at the top.

Unionization is not the enemy, bad management practices in dealing with unionization are. I have more examples of this, but i hope you are smart enough to “get the picture”. Better management decisions on wages and benefits will quell union organizing (Happy employees don’t unionize), keep stores open, and get you better press.  It would also keep the Federal Government from launching expensive investigations into your possible illegal behavior.  It would also be nice if you stopped the “big brother” surveillance on employees – customers don’t like that either. (are we next)?

Starbucks is not “to big to fail”. And I do want a hefty dividend and return on my investment in Starbucks as an investor.

Hoping you are smart enough to make the right kind of changes,

Alan Chenkin, MPA
Investor, customer, Management Professional

In light of recent events, does it matter that Starbucks has views on how to treat customers?

Starbucks is a big company. They Lead their industry. I care that they care about their employees, their stores, their customers, and suppliers (Fair trade coffee). I buy their products, and I invest in their company 

We see the egregious behavior of many “successful” companies and the way they treat their employees, and promote views based on their religion or feelings on women’s rights, sexual orientation, labor costs, unionization, the environment, etc.
As examples:
This is why you should care too. I want my friends and their families to work in environments where companies value their employees, their customers, and the communities where they earn their money. Enron ended with bankruptcies, divorces, suicides, and financial losses for investors.  (To see books from Amazon on the Enron scandal, click here.  There is a movie too, “The Smartest Guys in the Room).
I think it is time for all of us to “grow a pair”, and educate ourselves on the real cost of these corporate behaviors that hurt individuals, promote unhealthy living, and denigrate segments of society without cause or compassion, and pollute with impunity. I am an American and believe in what the founders sought – Freedom, and the pursuit of happiness. SO – I care! And I believe you should too.
It’s not all bad – Here are a few companies worth noting:

5 Big Brands Making the World a Better Place – Wise Bread

To see books on Corporate Ethics from Amazon, click here.

You may not care, and that is your choice, but I do. Putting my money where my mouth is, and hoping the world will be a better place for it.

Disclaimer: I own starbucks stock and usually have a tall Pikes with 2%milk.

Click here for Books on Starbucks corporation and Howard Schultz, the CEO, from Amazon.

I hope you found my point of view enlightening and informative.