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