Starbucks shareholders have approved a proposal to conduct an independent assessment of its labor practices, in the wake of hundreds of newly unionized cafes in the US.
The proposal secured 52% of the votes and was proposed by New York City Comptroller Brad Lander, the city’s public pension funds, and a coalition of other shareholders who hold about 2.2 million Starbucks shares.
This comes on the same day as former CEO Howard Schultz testified before a US Senate committee, defending the company against allegations of illegally firing pro-union employees, among other charges.
Starbucks stated in a regulatory filing that the results of the vote indicate that the investors share their commitment to their partners. The coffee chain also revealed that it is currently conducting an independent, third-party human rights impact assessment, which will involve a deeper-level review of the principles of freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining.
The findings of the review will be used to better support their partners, the company said. The call for a review of Starbucks’ labor practices reflects a growing demand for greater transparency and accountability in the business world.