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Unionized Starbucks on S. Nevada Ave. set to close one day before first union bargaining date

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The Nevada and Brookside Starbucks in Colorado Springs is set to close on Oct. 23, leaving the store's over thirty employees scrambling for work.

A Starbucks spokesperson tells KRDO the closure is due to "safety concerns." Some employees, however, are skeptical, speculating that the closure could have something to do with the store's decision to unionize in early March of this year.

"I want to believe that they have our best interests at heart, and it's not because we're unionized," said Leo Sanchez, a shift manager at the store. "But if you look at the news, you see it everywhere happening, that union stores are receiving this kind of treatment.”

The closure date comes one day before the union's proposed bargaining date. The union asked the corporation to start bargaining on Oct. 24 for the union's first contract, a meeting that will never come.

Instead, the union will meet with the corporation Friday, Oct. 14 to discuss what comes next for employees.

When KRDO asked Starbucks if the closure was related to unionization, the coffee chain said "we are not union busting." Their spokesperson said they open and close Starbucks locations for many reasons and are closing down the Nevada location due to safety concerns.

Now Sanchez is one of many employees who are trying to figure out how to move forward.

"I’ve called around individually to other stores for myself and others, and no one's really hiring right now," said Sanchez. "Starbucks is jam-packed. No one has space for 30-something people to work at, who need full-time hours."

He says the employees have heard very little from the company, making the situation even more difficult.

"There's nothing concrete, no one really had safety nets," said Sanchez. "We would love to get a call or a message or anything, and it just feels like we're not being engaged with.”

A Starbucks spokesperson told KRDO the company is ready to come to the table and enter negotiations with employees for potential relocation.

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Annabelle Childers

Annabelle is a reporter for KRDO

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