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Chipotle to pay ex-employees $240,000 after closing Maine location that attempted to unionize

Chipotle to pay ex-employees $240,000 after closing Maine location that tried to unionize

Chipotle Mexican Grill has agreed to pay $240,000 to the previous staff of an Augusta, Maine, location as a part of a settlement for closing the restaurant when staff tried to unionize.

Chipotle denied wrongdoing, regardless of settling the lawsuit with the federal labor board and the union.

“We settled this case not as a result of we did something incorrect, however as a result of the time, power and value to litigate would have far outweighed the settlement settlement,” Laurie Schalow, Chipotle’s chief company affairs officer, mentioned in an announcement to CNBC on Monday.

Workers on the Chipotle restaurant filed a petition to unionize beneath Chipotle United in late June, changing into the chain’s first outlet to take action. Previous to the submitting, staff had already walked out in protest of working circumstances and understaffing.

Lower than a month later, Chipotle closed the restaurant, citing staffing points and saying it revered staff’ proper to prepare. Nevertheless, in November, the Nationwide Labor Relations Board discovered that the burrito chain violated federal labor legislation when it closed the restaurant and stopped organizers from being employed at its different places within the state.

Chipotle restaurant in Teterboro, New Jersey.

SOPA Photos | LightRocket | Getty Photos

Whereas Chipotle United counted the settlement introduced Monday as a win, it fell wanting reopening the closed location.

Now, former staff on the shuttered Augusta location will obtain between $5,800 to $21,000 from Chipotle, dependant on their common hours, pay charge and the size of their tenure. Chipotle can even provide to place all of these staff on a preferential hiring record for different Maine places for one 12 months.

Roughly 40 shops in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts could have notices posted saying it will not shut shops or discriminated based mostly on union help. These places are beneath the management of the Chipotle regional supervisor who blackballed pro-union staff from jobs at different places, in keeping with Chipotle United, which isn’t affiliated with any bigger unions.

So far, only one Chipotle location has efficiently unionized. A restaurant in Lansing, Michigan, voted in August to unionize beneath the Worldwide Brotherhood of Teamsters.

The burrito chain hasn’t seen an avalanche of union petitions after organizers’ preliminary win in Michigan, in contrast to Starbucks, which has seen greater than 290 places unionize in somewhat over a 12 months. However Starbucks Staff United has accused the corporate of using comparable anti-union techniques, together with shuttering shops. The espresso chain denies all allegations of union busting, though former CEO Howard Schultz is about to testify Wednesday in entrance of a Senate panel in regards to the firm’s habits.

— CNBC’s Kate Rogers contributed to this report.

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