Starbucks Accused of Illegal Activity

By Alex Steele Dec 20, 2023 #Starbucks #Union
Coffee giant Starbucks has been accused of illegally closing nearly two dozen stores nationwide to discourage union activities.

Coffee giant Starbucks has been accused of illegally closing nearly two dozen stores nationwide to discourage union activities and has since been ordered to reverse the closures.

Starbuks In Hot Coffee Over This Alleged Illegal Move

Los Angeles County Starbucks stores may soon reopen after the National Labor Relations Board said the coffee franchise closed about two dozen locations to halt union momentum.

A regional director with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) in a complaint issued on Wednesday said that eight of the U.S. stores had already unionized when they closed.

As reported in the New York Times, a regional NLRB office determined that 23 U.S. stores were closed “because its employees engaged in union activities or to discourage employees from doing so.”

The federal agency is demanding the company reopen all locations and pay for lost wages.

The union said the following locations across the country were closed and listed within the complaint:

  • 2300 S Jackson St, Seattle, WA 98114 (the “23rd & Jackson” store)
  • 6417 Roosevelt Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115 (the “Roosevelt Square” store)
  • 1600 E Olive Way, Seattle, WA 98102 (the “East Olive Way” store)
  • 505 5th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104 (the “505 Union Station” store)
  • 101 Broadway E, Seattle, Washington 98102 (the “Broadway & Denny” store)
  • 400 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101 (the “Westlake Center” store)
  • 9999 Holman Road NW, Seattle, WA 98117 (the “Holman Road” store)
  • 11802 Evergreen Way, Everett, WA 98204 (the “Hwy 99 & Airport Rd” store)
  • 8595 Santa Monica Blvd, West Hollywood, CA 90069 (the “Santa Monica & Westmount” store)
  • 5453 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027 (the “Hollywood & Western” store)
  • 120 S Los Angeles St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (the “1st & Los Angeles (Doubletree)” store)
  • 6290 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028 (the “Hollywood & Vine” store)
  • 1601 Ocean Front Walk, Santa Monica, CA 90401 (the “Ocean Front Walk & Moss” store)
  • 232 E 2nd St, Los Angeles, CA 90012 (the “2nd & San Pedro” store)
  • 1001-1005 Chestnut St, Philadelphia, PA 19107 (the “10th & Chestnut” store)
  • 401 SW Morrison St, Portland, OR 97204 (the “4th & Morrison” store)
  • 10112 NE Halsey St, Portland, OR 97220 (the “Gateway” store)
  • 1102 NW Lovejoy St, Portland, OR 97209 (the “Kearney Plaza” store)
  • 50 Massachusetts Ave NE, Amtrak Baggage Area, Washington, DC 20002 (the “Union Station Train Concourse” store)
  • 302 Nichols Rd, Kansas City, MO 64112 (the “Plaza” store)
  • 1455 S Nevada Ave, Colorado Springs, CO 80905 (the “Nevada & Brookside” store)
  • 1070 W Bryn Mawr Ave, Chicago, IL 60660 (the “Bryn Mawr” store)
  • 176 Middle St, Portland, ME 04101 (the “Middle & Exchange” store)

Mari Cosgrove, a Seattle Starbucks partner, and member of Starbucks Workers United, wrote the following in a statement.

This complaint is the latest confirmation of Starbucks’ determination to illegally oppose workers’ organizing. It adds to the litany of complaints detailed in the company’s report released this morning. If Starbucks is sincere in its overtures in recent days to forge a different relationship with its partners, this is exactly the kind of illegal behavior it needs to stop.

“Each year as a standard course of business, we evaluate the store portfolio to determine where we can best meet our community and customers’ needs. This includes opening new locations, identifying stores in need of investment or renovation, exploring locations where an alternative format is needed, and, in some instances, re-evaluating our footprint,” reads a statement shared by Andrew Trull, spokesperson for the company.

Executive Vice President and President of Starbucks North America Sara Trilling disagreed with that assessment and provided a statement to KTLA.

According to the company, opening new stores and closing some locations is a regular part of their business model.

“In support of our Reinvention Plan, and as part of our ongoing efforts to transform our store portfolio, we continue to open, close and evolve our stores as we assess, reposition and strengthen our store portfolio,” said Trilling.

According to the Times, the issue will go before an administrative judge next summer unless Starbucks settles before then.

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