Chipotle To Pay $240K To Workers After Closing Maine Store That Tried To Unionize
Chipotle Mexican Grill has agreed to pay $240,000 to the former employees of its store in Augusta, Maine that was closed last year allegedly after the workers tried to unionize.
Chipotle United said that after seven months, it has reached a settlement with Chipotle in the lawsuit against them regarding the illegal closure of the store and retaliation against union members by refusing them work at other locations.
Under the settlement, Chipotle is required to make the payment in back pay and forward pay divided among all workers who were with the store in Augusta, Maine on July 19, 2022, the day when the store was closed.
The settlement payments, based on pay rates, average hours and seniority, reportedly will range between $5,800 to more than $21,000 to each of the affected employees.
Chipotle United tweeted that for the next 90 days, anyone employed on the day of the store closure can ask to be hired by another Chipotle location in the area and will be hired before any other applicant.
The company also must post notices at around 40 stores in Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts under the Regional manager who discriminated pro-union workers from jobs at other locations. The notice should acknowledge that the company will not break the law and will not close stores or interfere with the rights of their employees if workers organize.
Meanwhile, CNBC reported that Chipotle denied wrongdoing even though it settled the lawsuit with the federal labor board and the union.
In June last year, Chipotle Maine restaurant workers had walked out in protest of working conditions and understaffing, and later became the chain’s first outlet to file a petition to unionize under Chipotle United.
Following this, Chipotle closed the restaurant citing staffing issues. The company also stopped organizers from being hired at its other locations in the state.
In November, the National Labor Relations Board found that the chain violated federal labor law with its actions.
Since these incidents, one Chipotle restaurant in Lansing, Michigan, voted in August last year to unionize under the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
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