After Starbucks announced it would close a store that was recently unionized, workers are calling for a boycott of the local Starbucks in Ithaca. This is a major step in its anti-union campaign.
Starbucks informed employees at the College Avenue store in Ithaca on Friday that the store would be closing permanently on June 10. This was only one week after the notification date. After workers voted 19:1 to unionize, the store became the third Ithaca location to be unionized. Ithaca is now the first city in which all Starbucks locations have been fully unionized.
Starbucks Workers United is a union of workers who will rally on Wednesday to fight the injustices faced by their company. says is “clear retaliation for the first city in the US to unionize every Starbucks store in the city.”
After workers left, the store was closed. StrikeMid-April to protest safety issues over a grease trapThe grease trap had overflowed. Workers said they arrived at work in the morning to a grease trap filled with maggot- and oil-laden wastewater, but were told by management that the store wouldn’t be closing due to the issue. The workers unanimously agreed that they would strike that day.
In Starbucks’s announcement of the closure to the workersAccording to the company, the grease trap was the reason it was closing the store. Workers were told that the company would “bargain in good faith” when it comes to whether or not they would be able to keep their jobs, they said.
According to More Perfect UnionThe closure announcement didn’t first come from the company but instead came from notorious union-busting firm Littler Mendelson. Littler’s Alan I. Model, who negotiates with the union for the company, sent an email advising a worker that the store would be closing.
“We went on strike over our broken grease trap (which has been an issue for years) and now they’re claiming that our store needs to close permanently because of it,” Nadia Vitek, an Ithaca Starbucks worker, said in a statement on Saturday. “Seems like blatant and illegal retaliation for one of the most profitable and militant union stores in Ithaca. Assuming we’ll be transferred to other stores in Ithaca, our hour cuts are going to be even worse — they’ll do anything for us to quit.”
Workers filed a complaint against the company regarding the store’s closure and sought an injunction to keep it open. “It is a clear attempt to scare workers across the country by retaliating against its own employees,” Starbucks Workers United WriteIn the filing
The company is increasingly desperate to stop workers’ union efforts as its stock plummetsStarbucks Workers United scores new unions at a remarkable pace. Just on TuesdayThe union won elections in 12 stores, bringing to 135.
Despite the fact that the company has been intensifying its anti-union campaign they appear to be backfiring. Workers voted on Tuesday to unionizeA store in Memphis, Tennessee. The company was firedSeven union organizers were elected earlier this year. The move did not stop a union from being formed at the store. However, the company is now facing several legal challenges. A legal challengeThe National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) has requested an injunction to force the company into retraining the workers.