Six Starbucks stores in Los Angeles have now closed their doors due to security issues, according to the coffee giant. The closures come at a time when the company is facing an ongoing unionization effort in the U. S. On Sunday, a Starbucks in West Hollywood was bustling with customers, but 24 hours later, it was a very different story.
Signs were removed, doors closed, and discarded plastic cups were hung in an empty courtyard. Starbucks announced that 16 stores across the country would close due to problems such as chronic homelessness and protest vandalism.Six of these closures are in the Los Angeles area, including two locations outside Hollywood Boulevard and one location on Santa Monica Boulevard in West Hollywood. West Hollywood residents expressed their disappointment at the closure of a business that had been a staple in the neighborhood, and some said the situation could have been handled differently. Starbucks stated that vandalism, property theft and increased crime were the main reasons for the closures.Starbucks stores have voted to unionize since the end of last year, according to the National Labor Relations Board.
However, Starbucks insisted that the shutdowns were not related to the unionization campaign. Labor law does not prevent Starbucks from closing its stores for business reasons, but it does not allow them to close a store as retaliation against labor organizers.Other cities where stores have closed are Portland, Seattle, Philadelphia and Washington D. C., due to a large number of challenging incidents, according to the company. The Associated Press also contributed to this report.The locations, six of them in Los Angeles County, closed in late July due to an increase in crime and drug use among customers and non-paying customers, which has made employees feel uncomfortable.
In recent months, residents and business owners have expressed opposition to cutting the police budget amid a crime wave across Los Angeles County.Los Angeles Police Department Chief Michel Moore addressed the shutdowns on Tuesday, stating that he hopes to sit down with Starbucks officials in the near future to address his concerns.