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When Mr. Schultz went to Washington

... And Mr. Sanders might've wished the coffee king had stayed home. The Working Lunch podcast weighs in on Howard Schultz's Senate hearing.

Who knew former Starbucks chief Howard Schultz would get the best of Sen. Bernie Sanders? But the judges were unanimous in their decisions: Schultz, by a near knockout.

Or at least that’s how three longtime observers of the union scene scored last week’s appearance of a big-name restaurant executive before a major Senate committee chaired by the uber-progressive Vermont senator.

Schultz had agreed to appear for what was billed as an investigation into Starbucks’ handling of an ongoing unionization drive. But the hearing devolved into a back-and-forth with more than a few below-the-belt punches thrown.

Those officials, by the way: Align Public Strategies partners Joe Kefauver and Franklin Coley, plus a guest. Namely, me.

In a special session of Kefauver and Coley’s Working Lunch podcast, we analyzed how Schultz handled the pointed questions of an often openly hostile assembly of senators.

What answers prompted us to adjudge Schultz the winner? And what did the landmark hearing signal for Starbucks, the newly formed Starbucks Workers United union, and the restaurant industry as a whole?

Download the episode from wherever you get your podcasts, and hear for yourself.

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