FACT CHECK: No, Starbucks Is Not Leaving Morocco And San Francisco Due To Pro-Palestine Protests
A viral video shared on Instagram claims coffee company Starbucks is purportedly leaving Morocco and San Francisco due to pro-Palestine protests.
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A Starbucks corporate spokesperson denied the claim’s validity in an email to Check Your Fact.
Starbucks said it will resume talks with Workers United, the union that represents its employees, in January 2024, according to Reuters. The coffee company’s employees have been protesting in hopes of obtaining “better wages, staffing, and schedules,” the outlet indicated.
The Instagram video, which has received over 29,000 likes, claims Starbucks is purportedly leaving Morocco and San Francisco due to pro-Palestine protests. An unnamed female who appears in the video claims Starbucks is closing operations in Morocco entirely, while the company is only closing seven stores in San Francisco. “Don’t tell me boycotting doesn’t work,” she says. The young woman references two articles to make the claim.
The claim is false, however. The article claiming that Starbucks is closing its operations in Morocco stems from The New Arab. Although the outlet initially reported the coffee company would be leaving Morocco, it later updated the article to indicate the claim was false. (RELATED: No, Mick Jagger Did Not Say He Will Be Playing A Concert In Israel in 2024)
“We are committed to our activities in Morocco,” a spokesperson from Starbucks’ Al-Shaya franchise in Morocco told SNRT, according to The New Arab.
Likewise, the article highlighting Starbucks closures in San Francisco stems from USA Today. According to USA Today, Jessica Borton, the company’s North California Regional Vice President, announced the closure of seven Starbucks stores in an Oct. 2 email, which was obtained by the outlet. In the email, Borton said the closures were a result of “a standard process of evaluating our store portfolio annually.” There was no mention of the closures being linked to pro-Palestine protests amid the current Israel-Hamas conflict.
In addition, Check Your Fact found no credible news reports indicating Starbucks is purportedly leaving Morocco and San Francisco due to pro-Palestine protests. The coffee company also has not released a statement supporting the claim via its website or verified social media accounts.
Jaci Anderson, director of corporate communications for Starbucks Coffee Company, denied the claim’s validity in an email to Check Your Fact.
“Both of these claims are inaccurate,” Anderson said. “Starbucks continues to operate stores in Morocco.”
Anderson also referenced Borton’s Oct. 2 email to debunk the claim about Starbucks closures in San Francisco being related to pro-Palestine protests.