The labor movement continues to gain steam across corporate chains in 2022. The next big push is officially happening at Chipotle.
“Workers at a Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant in Augusta, Maine, have petitioned a federal labor board for a union election, becoming the first U.S. Chipotle location to seek to unionize.
The move could be significant if it spreads to more Chipotle stores, as has happened at corporate-owned U.S. Starbucks Corp locations, or even other large restaurant chains.
The Chipotle employees filed their petition on Wednesday with the National Labor Relations Board, Maine AFL-CIO spokesman Andy O’Brien said.
The workers have formed an independent union called Chipotle United and only asked the AFL-CIO for advice on how to file the paperwork, O’Brien said.
At Starbucks, the union drive is rattling the company. In April, it brought back former CEO Howard Schultz, but it is not clear whether his efforts to address employees directly and promise better benefits have staunched the flow of union petitions.
Out of Starbucks’ roughly 9,000 company-owned U.S. cafes, at least 280 have sought to organize since August 2021.
Chipotle also owns its own stores, which could make unionization easier than at franchised restaurants like McDonald’s Corp.”
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