(Seattle, WA) -- Seattle-based Starbucks has released a statement after employees at a Memphis, Tennessee location say they were fired for trying to unionize. Starbucks Workers United issued a news release saying seven workers were fired Tuesday afternoon, including nearly the entire union organizing committee. Starbucks contends the employees were fired following a probe into safety and security violations including reopening a store after closing time and inviting non-employees to come inside and move throughout the store, including behind the counter and in back rooms.

The employees say that they weren't even aware of the potential violations until they began unionizing, and--for many--it was only their first offense.

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