Chipotle employees at a restaurant in Lansing, Michigan, voted overwhelmingly to join the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
They are the first in the restaurant chain to organize themselves.
The workers are forming a union to improve their working hours, increase wages and earn the respect of management they rightfully deserve, according to a press release.
“Today’s victory is an incredible moment for our team who have worked so hard and spent many months getting organized,” said Samantha Smith, 18, a Chipotle crew member who works at the restaurant. in the Lansing area for over two years.
“We set out to show that our generation can bring about substantial change in this world and improve our working conditions by acting collectively. What this vote shows is that workers will continue to fight against big companies like Chipotle and demand the working conditions we deserve,” she added.
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The workers filed their candidacy with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) on July 5. The company-owned restaurant did not object to the filing.
“The Teamsters Union is made up of 1.2 million workers, and we are all fighting to ensure that our Chipotle brothers and sisters get the workplace rights and protections they deserve,” said the Teamsters General Chairman, Sean M. O’Brien. “Now is the time for the workers of this country to take back what is theirs. No matter your industry, no matter how old you are or how intimidating your employer may seem, you too can protect your job with a union. Revitalizing the work is really just beginning.”
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“At Chipotle, our employees are our greatest asset, and we are committed to listening to their needs and continuing to improve their work experience,” said Laurie Schalow, director of general affairs at Chipotle. “We are disappointed that the employees of our Lansing, Michigan restaurant have chosen to have a third party speak on their behalf, as we continue to believe that working directly together is best for our employees. “
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Chipotle workers in Lansing join the growing wave of workers across the country organizing to secure better working conditions, including at other major companies such as Starbucks, Apple and Amazon.