It’s possible that Starbucks won’t be finished closing stores due to safety concerns.
In a video that was uploaded on Twitter a week ago, the interim CEO of the company, Howard Schultz, stated that due to safety concerns, “We are beginning to close stores.” “This is only the beginning of things to come. There will be many more of them in the future.”
The announcement that Starbucks will be closing 16 outlets due to safety concerns was made last week. Around the same time, senior vice presidents of US operations at the firm, Debbie Stroud and Denise Nelson, explained in an open letter the measures that Starbucks is taking to make its stores safer.
Workers are “seeing firsthand the challenges facing our communities — personal safety, racism, lack of access to healthcare, a growing mental health crisis, rising drug use, and more,” they wrote, adding that “with stores in thousands of communities across the country, we know these challenges can, at times, play out within our stores too.”
According to Schultz’s video, the endeavor to make workers feel safer could result in an increase in the number of locations closing down.
According to the letter, the corporation is providing active shooter training as well as other sorts of training, as well as benefits for mental health, access to abortion care, clarity regarding shifts and store policies, and more.
In situations when it is unable to provide a safe environment within a store, Starbucks will permanently close the location, as stated in the continuation of the letter. When a situation like this arises, the corporation will transfer personnel to stores that are nearby.
Schultz, who became CEO of the company for the third time in April after having already held the position twice before, has been working to thwart the expansion of unionization activities. As of the 24th of June, the National Labor Relations Board, also known as the NLRB, has granted certification to the unions representing over 130 stores and more than 3,400 employees. As of that date, the board has certified decisions that were made against unionization at 15 different locations. In addition, elections are being held at dozens of other retail locations.
In the past, union organizers have used the threat of business closings as a method of coercion against employees.
Starbucks (SBUX) employees at a store in Ithaca, New York, reported in June that their establishment was going to be closed as reprisal for their union advocacy. At the time, the worker committee announced that it was in the process of submitting a charge of unfair labor practice with the NLRB. The charge alleged that Starbucks was making a “clear attempt to scare workers across the country.”
When asked about the closure of that location, a spokeswoman for the firm stated at the time that Starbucks opens and closes stores as a normal part of its business operations, but did not provide any further explanation.
Starbucks shuttered 424 company-operated stores in the United States during its most recent fiscal year, which is equivalent to around 5 percent of the company’s total while opening 449 new sites. The United States is home to around 9,000 Starbucks locations that are run by the company itself.