A company spokesperson cited safety concerns, saying that “unfortunately, despite several mitigating efforts, safety and security incidents at our Broadway and Denny store have continued to escalate.” The spokesperson said that the store will be closing to customers on December 9.
But union organizers see those decisions as the company’s effort to hit back against their efforts.
“This is the most clear-cut case of retaliation this company has shown closing a union store yet,” Starbucks Workers United said in a statement on the closure. “Starbucks and Howard Schultz are playing petty games with worker’s lives. They lack respect not only for the rights of their workers, but for the law of this country.”
The location is the fourth union store in Seattle to be shut down by the company since July, according to the union, which said it will file an unfair labor practice charge against Starbucks over the latest closure of the Broadway and Denny location.
The Starbucks spokesperson said, regarding the Seattle closure announcement, that “we will bargain with the union in good faith to discuss the impact of this decision on our partners — including opportunities to transfer to other area stores.”
–— CNN Business’ Chris Isidore contributed to this report.