Starbucks closes 16 stores for safety reasons

“After careful consideration, we are closing certain stores in locations that have experienced a high number of complex incidents that make it unsafe to continue operations,” a spokesperson for CNN Business said in an email.

Stores are in Seattle; Los Angeles; Philadelphia; Washington DC and Portland, Oregon. They will be closed until the end of July.

AT Monday letter to employeesDebbie Stroud and Denise Nelson, senior vice presidents of US operations, discussed safety issues at Starbucks stores.

Employees “see firsthand the challenges our communities face – personal safety, racism, lack of access to healthcare, a growing mental health crisis, rising drug use and more,” they wrote, adding that “with shops in thousands of communities across the world.” countries, we are aware that these problems can show up in our stores from time to time.”

Stroud and Nelson said they “read every incident report you file”, adding “that’s a lot”.

To make workers feel safer in stores, the company is offering active shooting training and other types of training, they wrote.

It also offers mental health benefits, access to abortion, clarity about shifts and shop rules, and more, the letter says. The company may also close toilets to the public, politics 2018.

In cases where Starbucks fails to create a safe environment in the store, it will close the store permanently, the letter says. In such cases, the company transfers employees to neighboring stores.

A new era for Starbucks

These steps are part of a broader effort to rejuvenate the company, as outlined in Monday letter from Schultz.

“We need to reinvent Starbucks for the future,” he wrote, noting that the company must “drastically” improve the working conditions for employees. He added that based on employee feedback, the company will strive to create “safety, hospitality and kindness for our stores.”

In April, Schultz took over as CEO for the third time. Over the past few months, he has been spending time with employees, listening to their concerns and gathering feedback. He also tries to discourage workers from unionizing, urging workers to stay away from unions even before he formally returns to the company as chief executive.

But the desire for unionization is only growing.

As of June 24, the NLRB has certified unions in 133 Starbucks stores with more than 3,400 hourly employees. them, as well as certified decisions against unionization in 15 locations. Elections are being held in dozens of stores.

Starbucks may close its restrooms to the public again
Even with pro-union votes, unions make up only a small fraction of the approximately 9,000 Starbucks stores in the US that the company operates. But Starbucks has made it clear that it does not want employees to join a union, and that it does not guarantee certain benefits to those who do.
In a tweet, representatives from Starbucks Workers United Seattle questioned the decision to close a location in Seattle. was done in good faith.
And in June, employees at a Starbucks store in Ithaca, New York, said their store was closed in retaliation for their union activism. At the time, the workers’ committee said it was filing a case of unfair labor practices with the National Labor Relations Board, alleging that Starbucks was making a “clear attempt to intimidate workers across the country.”

Regarding the closure of this store, a company spokesman said that Starbucks opens and closes stores as part of its normal business, without giving specific reasons.

“Our local, regional and national leaders have worked with humility, deep concern and urgency to create the kind of in-store experience that partners and shoppers expect from Starbucks,” a Starbucks spokesperson said in June. “Our goal is to ensure each partner is supported in their individual situation and we have immediate opportunities available in the market.”

During the last fiscal year, Starbucks closed 424 of its own stores in the US, or about 5% of the total, and opened 449 new locations.

– Chris Isidore of CNN Business and Ramishah Marouf contributed to this report.

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