Home » A Chipotle restaurant in Michigan votes to unionize, a first for the chain

A Chipotle restaurant in Michigan votes to unionize, a first for the chain

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A Chipotle Mexican Grill sign is seen in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York.

Michael M. Santiago | Getty Images

AND Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant in Lansing, Michigan became the chain’s first location to vote for unionization.

Workers at the shop voted 11 to three in favor of unionization under the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, according to Thursday’s count.

“We are disappointed that the employees at our Lansing, MI restaurant have decided to let a third party speak for them, as we continue to believe that working directly together is best for our employees,” Chipotle spokeswoman Laurie Schalow said in a statement to CNBC. .

Chipotle has five business days to file objections to the election. If Chipotle chooses to file no objections, the National Labor Relations Board regional director certifies the results, and the company is required to begin good faith negotiations with the union.

“Chipotle had $7.5 billion in revenue last year, and just as we see workers of all ages and backgrounds across the country take on these corporate giants, it’s so inspiring to see Chipotle employees stand up and demand more from a company that can clearly afford it,” Scott Quenneville, president of Local 243, said in a statement. “The Teamsters have this worker’s back. They’re going to have a union they can be proud of that knows how to get things done.

The Lansing location was the second Chipotle restaurant ever to file a unionization petition with the NLRB.

In late June, a Chipotle restaurant in Augusta, Maine, became the first outlet of the chain to sign up for union elections, trying to organize under Chipotle United, which is not affiliated with any major unions. Company permanently closed the place after the petition was filedciting personnel issues. Chipotle United filed a complaint with the NLRB, claiming the move was retaliatory.

The victory for Chipotle organizers in Michigan comes in more than 200 Starbucks coffee shops in the US have voted for unionization in the past 10 months. Despite recent major efforts, unions are rare in the restaurant industry. Only 1.2% of food and beverage workers were unionized last year, far below the private sector union rate of 6.1%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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