Newly organized employees on the Augusta Chipotle are accusing the chain of union busting after it abruptly closed the placement.
The Chipotle on Stephen King Drive closed efficient Tuesday, and has been closed to the general public since Sunday, in accordance with the union and chain. The closure got here because the Nationwide Labor Relations Board was set to carry a listening to to find out the union election course of, Maine AFL-CIO spokesperson Andy O’Brien mentioned.
“They waited till the morning of the listening to to shut the shop after which claimed we couldn’t elect to type a union as a result of we’re completely closed. That is union busting 101 and there’s nothing that motivates us to battle tougher than this underhanded try to shut down the labor motion inside their shops. They’re scared as a result of they understand how highly effective we’re and if we catch fireplace just like the unionization effort at Starbucks they gained’t have the ability to cease us,” mentioned Brandi McNease, a employee and member of Chipotle United.
McNease pledged to battle the choice to shut. O’Brien mentioned the union has filed an unfair labor observe criticism towards Chipotle with the Nationwide Labor Relations Board.
Laurie Schalow, the chief company affairs officer for Chipotle, mentioned in a Tuesday assertion that the closure was prompted by staffing challenges, saying the chain went to “extraordinary lengths” to recruit new employees on the location.
“Regardless of these efforts, we now have been unable to adequately workers this distant restaurant with crew and proceed to be plagued with extreme call-outs and lack of availability from current workers. We now have had an much more troublesome time discovering managers to steer the restaurant. Due to these ongoing staffing challenges, there is no such thing as a chance of reopening within the foreseeable future, so we’ve made the choice to completely shut the restaurant,” Schalow mentioned.
An e mail despatched to employees at 7:39 a.m. from Lisa Zeppetelli, a individuals expertise companion for Chipotle within the Northeast, particulars that employees will likely be paid via the tip of the week, in addition to obtain 4 weeks’ severance primarily based on hours labored over the prior two weeks. The Maine AFL-CIO circulated a screenshot of that e mail Tuesday.
“For a corporation that gave a bonus to its CEO that was 1,700 instances greater than the median Chipotle employee’s pay in 2020, I don’t imagine for a minute that they couldn’t afford to rent a supervisor and sufficient workers to maintain this retailer working. Chipotle has the cash to draw employees and pay them dwelling wages, however it could want to make use of it to pay exorbitant dividends to their shareholders,” McNease mentioned.
Chipotle employees on the location voted to type an unbiased union late final month. That got here only a week after the Chipotle employees staged a two-day walkout in protest of what they referred to as unsafe working situations and low staffing.
It was the primary Chipotle retailer within the nation to file for union recognition. It comes amid an upsurge in union exercise throughout the nation, notably in sectors that aren’t historically unionized, equivalent to meals service. The Maine AFL-CIO mentioned Tuesday it has seen a dramatic spike in calls from quick meals employees who need to unionize.