A Chipotle in Michigan becomes the company's first location to unionize
A Chipotle Mexican Grill in Lansing, Michigan, became the first of the 3,000 sites in the fast-casual business to organise its employees by voting to unionise on Thursday.
The International Brotherhood of Teamsters was chosen as the union that the Chipotle employees in Lansing would like to join.
According to a statement released by the union on Thursday, employees are uniting "to improve their work schedules, enhance compensation, and get the respect from management that they have earned."
The restaurant joins a surge of unionisation campaigns at workplaces around the nation, including other places of business in the food service industry like Starbucks, which has seen more than 200 U.S. sites unionise since its first victory in Buffalo, New York, last year.
Chipotle generated $7.5 billion in revenue last year, and at a time when workers from all demographics and age groups are taking on these corporate behemoths nationwide, it's encouraging to see Chipotle employees stand up and demand more from a business that can ostensibly afford it.
Chipotle stated in a statement that it provides its employees with perks that set the industry standard, including competitive pay, debt-free degrees, health coverage, and bonuses that last year reached $37 million for its almost 100,000 staff members.
Chipotle's chief corporate affairs officer, Laurie Schalow, said in a statement: "We continue to believe that working directly together is best for our employees and we're sorry that the employees at our Lansing, MI store elected to have a third party speak on their behalf.
According to Chipotle, it was unable to "adequately staff" the store in Augusta, Maine, where a union petition was filed in June. Union activists said that the chain was attempting to repress employees.
On July 5, the Lansing Chipotle employees submitted an election petition to the National Labor Relations Board. Chipotle made no objections to the application.
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