Almost three dozen lawmakers on Monday urged Starbucks Corp. to work with the unions that have formed at nearly 250 of its stores around the nation, and expressed concerns about allegations that the coffee chain is discriminating against workers who are unionizing by withholding wage and benefits increases. U.S. Rep. Ro Khanna, a California Democrat, led a group of his congressional colleagues in sending a letter to Starbucks
Chief Executive Howard Schultz, he revealed in an exclusive interview with MarketWatch ahead of the letter’s release. He said Starbucks has a chance to lead the way in helping change the lives of workers around the nation.
“If they end up being supportive of unionization, they could set a model for the food and drink industry in America,” the congressman said. “Then they could rightly say they’re being progressive.” Thirty other members of Congress signed the letter, including Khanna’s fellow Democratic representatives from California, such as Karen Bass, Mark DeSaulnier and Barbara Lee, as well as representatives from around the country including David Cicilline, Pramila Jayapal, Jerrold Nadler and Rashida Tlaib. “As workers renegotiate the compact between employee and employer across workplaces nationwide, we encourage both parties to work together, mend differences and unite to help build an economy that works for everyone,” the letter reads. For more: Read the entire letter here In his interview with MarketWatch, Khanna pointed out that the coffee chain was known in the 1990s for being progressive and for treating its employees well, but it is now facing …