retail news in context, analysis with attitude

With brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

•  CNBC reports that "Starbucks has informed workers at two locations that their stores will be closing, a move that the coffee chain’s union says is retaliation for organizing efforts.

"The company said the union activity isn’t the reason for the closures. It said a Kansas City, Missouri, location, where vote results are pending, is closing due to safety issues. It said a Seattle location, where workers voted to organize in April, will close and reopen, operated as a licensed location by a neighboring grocery store."

However, "the union maintains some closures are about more than safety, pointing to a list of 19 Starbucks locations that have closed or are closing, with eight of them having unionized, filed or started to organize."

“If Starbucks was serious about solving safety issues, they could work with partners and our union. Instead, Schultz and Starbucks have sent a message loud and clear — complain about safety, and we’ll close your store,” Starbucks Workers United said in a statement.

CNBC reports that "About 200 of Starbucks’ roughly 9,000 locations in the U.S. have voted to unionize.  Under interim CEO Howard Schultz, Starbucks has been focusing on the company’s reinvention and emphasizing priorities including store safety and advancement opportunities for workers. As part of the push, Starbucks closed more than a dozen stores over safety concerns, most of them on the West Coast."

Does anyone really believe that if Starbucks were not experiencing labor strife, management would find a way to keep these stores open, and might not even entertain the possibility of closing them?  Really.  I'm asking.