Sanders’s posts seem to have been sparked by a report that the chain illegally withheld raises from its union workers. The chain has already fired employees who’ve attempted to unionize.
“Enough is enough,” Sanders tweeted Tuesday. “Howard Schultz, the billionaire CEO of Starbucks, must end his war against his employees, recognize the union and negotiate a first contract.”
“If Howard Schultz, the Starbucks CEO, who is worth $4 billion can afford a $145 million, 254-foot super yacht with a helicopter pad, you know what? He can afford to negotiate a fair first contract with Starbucks workers who voted to form a union in over 230 locations in America,” Sanders wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday.
So far, 199 Starbucks locations have successfully unionized one by one. Nearly 40 have seen union elections fail, which resulted in the firing of 75 union leaders, and another 80 remain open, with a total of 9,000 locations nationwide. The first Starbucks to unionize was in Buffalo, New York.
Schultz is only the interim CEO and has promised to hire a permanent replacement externally by the fall. He has not responded publicly to the senator’s posts.