ITHACA, N.Y. (WETM) – Workers at the Starbucks in Ithaca walked out on their shift at 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning after they say one of their co-workers was unjustly fired.
Over a dozen of recently unionized workers gathered on the corner of E. Seneca St., outside of the Ithaca Commons Starbucks location, yelling chants and holding signs that said “union busting is disgusting.”
The worker they were protesting for had worked at Starbucks for over five years. She was fired after she showed up to her shift 80 minutes late, but her co-workers said she had no track record of doing so in the past.
Protestors say this is only the latest in a recent string of firings that they say is in retaliation to their union organizing.
“We heard that she got fired and I was really upset and sad because I love working with her…We just told customers like sorry we’re closing because one of us got fired in retaliation to our union organizing,” said Nadia Vitek, barista at the Ithaca Commons Starbucks.
In tandem with the firings, this is only the latest of many strikes held over the past few months as workers try to bring awareness to short staffing and managerial issues after unionizing in April.
In regards to the situation, a Starbucks spokesperson said, “We currently have a strike happening at our store location in Ithaca, New York. Starbucks has great partners and we value their contributions. We respect our partners’ right to engage in any legally protected activity or protest without retaliation. We are grateful for each partner who continues to work and we always do our best to listen to the concerns of all our partners.”