Workers At Michigan Chipotle Vote To Unionize
Short staffing and inability to make ends meet with low hours were the main demands of the Chipotle employees.
This Is The First Chipotle Restaurant To Unionize In The Country
A Lansing Chipotle restaurant became the first in that chain to unionize its workers. The employees at the store located On West Saginaw Street voted 11-3 to join the union Thursday afternoon. They will be joining a branch of the International Brotherhood fo Teamsters, Local #243.
There are over 3000 Chipotle stores nationwide, but none of them have had union representation prior to the vote. Chipotle had recently closed a store in Maine that had attempted to unionize.
Chipotle has five days to file an objection to the vote. If they don't, the vote will be certified, and the employees will then submit demands for negotiation.
Kevin McCoy, a Teamsters rep, said the employees will be solidifying their demands and will soon submit them to Chipotle's corporate offices.
Much of their complaints prior to unionizing revolved around lack of hours available for employees to make ends meet (they are currently making around $13/hour). Another complaint was that many employees were unhappy working several roles during a shift do to short staffing.
The Lansing Chipotle Employees Declared The Vote As A Victory
“Today’s victory is an amazing moment for our team that has worked so hard and spent many months organizing,” Samantha Smith, an employee at the Lansing store, said in a statement. “We set out to show that our generation can make substantial change in this world and improve our working conditions by taking action collectively.”
If the Chipotle employees demands are not met by the company after negotiations, they could go on strike, but that was not threatened in their statement.
"Chipotle pulled in revenue of $7.5 billion last year, and just as we're seeing workers of all ages and backgrounds across the country take on these corporate giants, it's so inspiring to see Chipotle workers stand up and demand more from a company that can clearly afford it," said Scott Quenneville, president of Local 243, in a statement.
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