KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Starbucks workers at the Country Club Plaza location say they should find out more about their employment situation Thursday after their store closed Monday afternoon.

“They told me I’d be taken care of,” Barista Josh Crowell said while protesting outside his store Wednesday. “But they said that shutting down my store was me being taken care of, so I don’t trust them.”

Crowell is an organizer of the effort to try to get the Plaza Starbucks workers to be a part of a union. Monday though, he found his store would be closing. Starbucks said its company is ‘challenged’ in providing a safe environment for their customers. Crowell thinks he’ll be shifted to the 41st and Main store, but that’s not confirmed.

“No,” Crowell said when asked if he will feel safer if he works at the 41st Street and Main store. “If we’re just basing it strictly off of safety, I would say the Plaza is safer than that store, but if we’re being objective about the safety concerns as a fast-food worker, all food service jobs are unsafe.”

Crowell and his partners think the store was closed because the workers were trying to form a union. Starbucks is not commenting on that, but the protesters admit crime has been an issue at the Plaza store.

“I’m a supervisor,” Protester Addy Wright said Wednesday. “I’m the person that’s expected to tell an unruly large drunk man causing chaos in the cafe. They expect someone like me to be able to handle that situation and escort that man out and put myself in danger along with the other small high school baristas?”

Wright says the store had been given private security for a little bit, and it worked.

“They were able to catch the man who attempted a robbery,” Wright continued. “They were able to carry out one of the men who assaulted my manager, and so I don’t understand why this summer, the immediate response was store closure for a lower occurrence of incidents.”

At 7 p.m. August 14, officers heard gunshots southwest of the intersection of 47th Street and Wyandotte Street on the Plaza, but there is no word if that’s part of the reason Starbucks is closing that store.

“When a store location closes, it is our policy to support partners in each individual situation to identify nearby stores with opportunities available that will meet their scheduling and commuting needs,” a Starbucks spokesperson said Wednesday afternoon.

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