ITHACA, N.Y. (WENY) -- The last two Starbucks locations in Ithaca are set to permanently close on May 26th. Starbucks says that is has informed the employees' union Workers United and is prepared to discuss employee transfer and severance considerations for workers at both locations. 

“In support of our Reinvention Plan, and as part of our ongoing efforts to transform our store portfolio, we continue to open, close and evolve our stores as we assess, reposition and strengthen our store portfolio,” commented Sara Trilling, executive vice president and president of Starbucks North America.

According to a Starbucks official, the move was made not because workers are represented by a union, but because of how difficult it was to hire and retain staff at the two Ithaca locations. According to Starbucks there have been 900 partner absences over the last eight months alone.

Starbucks has recently been called out not only by politicians for anti-union activity, but they have been penalized for it as well. In March a National Labor Relations Board judge found that Starbucks engaged in “egregious and widespread misconduct” in dealings with employees involved in efforts to unionize Buffalo, New York, stores.

"It was a point of pride for most of Ithaca that all of the three Starbucks locations employed unionized workers and that Ithaca was the first city in the country to have fully unionized Starbucks cafes," said Assemblymember Anna Kelles. "I am appalled by the consistently and blatantly anti-union actions of this multi-billion dollar corporation. I am stirred by and appreciate the courage and fortitude of those that have fought and are still fighting for labor representation here for more than one year."

Kelles said that employees were informed that May 26th would be the last day for both stores. 

"We must look ourselves in the mirror and ask ourselves what happened to the country where companies were run by people who invested in their workers knowing it was a commitment to the quality of their product or service? Today a small handful treat their employees with fairness and act in good faith of their own accord," Kelles continued. "Employees deserve to have pride in their work, safety in the workplace, and integrity from those they work for. Each of us has our own voice and ability to stand with workers, even if that voice is expressed with our feet and our pocketbooks in who we choose to support. I stand in solidarity with workers who chose to unionize, and will fight for accountability from corporations like Starbucks."