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Starbucks Indonesia Fires Employees for Online Sexual Harassment of Customer

July 2, 2020, 08.37 PM

JAKARTA, KOMPAS.comStarbucks Indonesia has fired a couple of employees, after enraged netizens called them out for online sexual harassment against an unsuspecting female customer in one of its Jakarta outlets.

Starbucks said it took action against the employees, after an online outcry sparked by leaked CCTV footage indicated the employees were ogling a female customer.

The franchise did not name the employees concerned.

Senior PR and Communications General Manager Andrea Siahaan of PT Sari Coffee Indonesia, Starbucks’ Indonesian subsidiary, apologized for the incident. 

“We find the employees’ behaviour and actions intolerable. We can confirm that they are no longer employed by us,” Andrea told in a written statement received on Thursday, July 2.

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“Their actions are counter to [Starbucks’] ongoing efforts to make [customers] feel safe and comfortable in our outlets.”

Andrea hoped that other employees will not repeat the scandal. She added that Starbucks has taken measures to prevent it from happening again.

Starbucks CCTV footage on social mediaTwitter: @LisaAbet Starbucks CCTV footage on social media

Police weigh in on the incident 

Jakarta Metropolitan Police spokesman Yusri Yunus said the police are investigating the case.

“We are in the middle of confirming when and where [the incident occurred],” he said. “However, there isn't so much we can do because [Starbucks] has not filed a report.”

But Yusri confirmed that the employees did break the law.

“The employees’ actions violated the Electronic Information and Transactions Laws as they recorded [the footage] and uploaded it on social media,” he noted.

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“We hope that the victim or any individuals who feel aggrieved will report the incident to us, so we can take action against the perpetrators.”

The Starbucks employees recorded a closeup of an anonymous female customer’s leg and breasts on CCTV in one of their outlets and uploaded the footage on social media. 

According to the Antara state news agency, the incident occurred at a Starbucks outlet in Sunter Mall, North Jakarta on 1 July. 

Twitter up in arms

Twitter users voiced their outrage soon after the footage went viral.

"The instastory of an acquaintance who worked in Starbucks is real terrifying..So this is how people work in a back office? So creepy and frightening!" said Twitter user @LisaAbet.

"CCTV's are installed to make people feel secure, but if it is misused it makes them feel insecure. Stupid, brainless employee," Antara quoted another account under the name @alcadeaja.

"Its tough being a girl. Even when hanging out with friends somebody zooms [them in on CCTV]," said fellow Twitter user @shrlymonica. "Even a supposedly safe place is anything but safe."

Starbucks have replied to the online criticism, particularly by users who mentioned them.  

(Writer: Muhammad Isa Bustomi | Editor : Sandro Gatra)


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