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Starbucks blocked most transfer requests as company shut down remaining Ithaca stores

  • / Updated:
  • Staff Report 

Starbucks has announced the closure of its last two stores in Ithaca earlier this week, following a strike by employees.

The decision, effectively a mass layoff of unionized workers, won’t impact the branded cafes within the Barnes & Noble bookstore and the Target store at the Shops at Ithaca Mall, which are operated by the stores themselves, not Starbucks. This comes less than a year after the company’s abrupt closure of its College Avenue café in Collegetown.


In response to the closures, a Starbucks representative noted that the company is currently negotiating employment and transfer options for affected employees. The representative also revealed that of the 19 stores permanently closed nationwide last week, 80% were non-unionized locations.

The closures in Ithaca come after employees voted to unionize just over a year ago. The company has faced significant staff turnover and has struggled to fill critical managerial positions, according to the Starbucks representative. However, a Starbucks Workers United member alleges that the company is blocking most transfer requests to other cafe locations, accepting only one in five applications.