We Knew That He Asshole When He Ran for President

In an apparent last-ditch attempt to convince workers to vote against a union campaign at three Starbucks stores in the Buffalo area, Howard Schultz, the company’s former CEO and largest shareholder, gave a speech to workers that drew parallels between working at his company and the experiences of prisoners in rail cars headed to Nazi concentration camps in Poland and Germany.

Schultz noted that in the rail cars, only a few prisoners received blankets and had to share them with five people. A rabbi who told Schultz the story on a trip to Israel said that Schultz should share his blanket, he said.

“Not everyone, but most people shared their blanket with five other people,” Schultz, who noted that he is Jewish before sharing the story, said. “So much of that story is threaded into what we’ve tried to do at Starbucks is share our blanket.”

The metaphor, seemingly, was an attempt to explain that Starbucks has built an unparalleled corporate culture over the last 50 years that both he and employees could be proud of. During the 45-minute speech, Schultz lamented the state of politics and also talked about innovations in coffee making and his vision for employees. (Schultz has shared this anecdote when speaking with shareholders.)

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