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Starbucks baristas: We won’t quit until Congress does

Stephanie Gruner Buckley

Starbucks baristas in the US capital will carry on their “Come Together” crusade aimed at seeking harmonious resolution to the US fiscal cliff crisis. Just after Christmas, coffee servers in Washington, DC started writing “Come Together” on every paper cup of coffee sold. They did this at the request of Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz, who hoped to inspire bipartisan spirit in any lawmakers who happened to frequent his cafe chain and be weighing how to resolve the fiscal cliff austerity measures and tax hikes scheduled to kick in today.

Now a CNN staffer is reporting that the baristas will continue writing on cups until House of Representatives members agree to the deal struck last night to resolve (or at least delay hard decisions around) critical fiscal cliff issues and President Barack Obama signs it into law. The House is scheduled to be in session to consider the bill passed by the Senate overnight starting at noon today. In the meantime, the US has technically gone over the fiscal cliff.

Last week, Schultz wrote:

“In the spirit of the Holiday season and the Starbucks tradition of bringing people together, we have a unique opportunity to unite and take action on an incredibly important topic. Rather than be bystanders, we have an opportunity — and I believe a responsibility — to use our company’s scale for good by sending a respectful and optimistic message to our elected officials to come together and reach common ground on this important issue.”

Some media have called the gesture “laughable” and suggested that as Forbes 354th richest person in America and head of a $3.36 billion in revenue company, Schultz could probably find a more persuasive way to get lawmakers to agree. From US News & World Report:

“Lengthening the lines at Starbucks stores by asking employees to write “come together” on cups is a cop-out. But then, should we be taking fiscal advice from someone whose company charged four bucks for a cup of coffee?”


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