Starbucks workers protest company’s decision to close several Seattle stores

Dozens of Starbucks workers gathered outside the Starbucks Roastery on Pike Street in Seattle on Sunday, protesting the company’s decision to close several Seattle stores at the end of the month.

Those workers say the company is purposely trying to union bust.

A Starbucks spokesperson reiterated to KIRO 7 that that is not the case, saying the company is “focused on investing in safe store experiences and empowering our local leaders to put safety first.”

The company plans to close five Seattle locations at the end of the month due to safety concerns.

But some employees of those stores worry about what’s next for them — especially those from the Olive Way location on Capitol Hill.

They worry about their health benefits going away, particularly those in the LGBTQIA+ community.

KIRO 7 also spoke with one barista from the roastery who says they have hip problems because of the shift they work.

They also claim the company has refused to acknowledge that some shops have unionized and want them to vote on the matter again, a process they say has been extremely frustrating.

“It has been months of waiting back and forth and now they are even refusing to acknowledge the fact that we have voted,” said Alexander Ray Webster. “That’s not right. We voted. We won the vote. We were supposed to start bargaining long ago and they are just refusing to acknowledge that.”

This isn’t the first protest against the company in recent days. Workers protested outside the Olive Way location on Friday.