Chipotle Forced to Admit Wrongdoing in Closing Unionizing Store
Chipotle Forced to Admit Wrongdoing in Closing Unionizing Store

Chipotle Forced to Admit Wrongdoing in Closing Unionizing Store

According to the Chipotle Union, a store in Augusta, Maine, shut down after employees expressed interest in unionizing. As a result, Chipotle has agreed to pay $240,000 to these workers.

The union announced a settlement with Chipotle after a seven-month lawsuit. The settlement addresses the unlawful store closure and the company’s retaliation against union members by denying them work at other Chipotle locations.

After Chipotle employees in Augusta, Maine, filed a petition to unionize and scheduled a union vote, the company closed the store in July 2022, the same day as the scheduled vote.

The National Labor Relations Board stated that this was the first Chipotle store to petition to unionize. However, Chipotle denied that the store was closed due to unionization efforts and instead attributed it to staffing issues.

Recently, a settlement was reached in which Chipotle agreed to pay $240,000 in back and forward pay to employees from the day the store closed. Workers who were employed at the Augusta store can request to be hired at any other store and will have preference over new applicants for the next 90 days.

Additionally, Chipotle will post notices in 40 stores across New England acknowledging their wrongdoing in closing the Augusta store and educating employees on their unionization rights.

Chipotle Settles Lawsuit with Workers

The Chipotle Union tweeted about the settlement and noted that the posting acknowledges that Chipotle broke the law by retaliating against the union and commits to not interfere with the rights of employees.

The settlement comes at a time when support for unions is at a 50-year high. The Protecting the Right to Organize Act has also gained support from President Joe Biden, who recently tweeted in favor of the legislation to expand workers’ rights.

In a tweet, President Biden expressed his frustration with companies that break the law to prevent workers from organizing. He stated that it is time to pass the PRO Act, which would allow workers to form a union and protect their rights.

The impact of this move on other private company work cultures may vary depending on several factors, including the industry, the company size, and the region in which they operate.

However, the settlement and President Biden’s tweet in support of the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act could send a message to other companies that there may be consequences for violating workers’ rights to unionize.

It could encourage more employees to organize and push for better working conditions and wages. It may also lead to increased scrutiny of companies’ practices regarding unionization, as well as their reasons for closing stores or firing workers who express interest in unionizing. Companies may need to be more careful in how they respond to workers’ efforts to unionize to avoid any legal consequences or negative publicity.

The impact of this move may help strengthen workers’ rights to unionize and may lead to a shift towards more worker-friendly policies and practices in the private sector.