Starbucks to Close Six LA Stores – Los Angeles

Six Starbucks locations in Los Angeles are among 16 nationwide closing due to safety concerns, Starbucks announced Tuesday.

Six stores in Seattle will be closing, along with two others in Portland, Oregon and Washington. The company also announced six stores in Los Angeles. Starbucks announced that employees from these stores will have the chance to transfer to another store.

This is part of an employee response to safety concerns, such as reports of drug use in shops and threats to employees.

“That’s shocking, that’s really shocking, but I don’t blame them,”Varian Gray works in Hollywood, near Starbucks’ Hollywood and Vine locations, where one of the stores is closing. “People get stuff thrown at them, spit on them, anything, and so it’s not good.”

Other LA locations that are closing include Hollywood and Western, Little Tokyo, Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood, and Santa Monica Pier.

“We know these challenges can, at times, play out within our stores too. We read every incident report you file — it’s a lot,” Starbucks’ senior vice presidents of operations Debbie Stroud and Denise Nelson said in a joint Statement.

These closures occur at a time when many stores have voted to unionize. Two of the Seattle locations are also closing. Starbucks also closed an Ithaca store that was unionized last month because of operational issues, including a grease trap overflowing.

Starbucks insisted the closures weren’t related to the unionization drive.

“Opening and closing stores is part of our business operations,”A spokesperson for the company stated this. “This is really rooted in safe and welcoming stores.”

U.S. labor law doesn’t prevent Starbucks from closing its stores for business reasons. But it can’t close a store — whether it’s unionized or not — in retaliation against labor organizers.

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