Chipotle Mexican Grill agreed to pay a former employee $240,000 as part of a settlement arising from complaints that the company violated federal law. close the restaurant Where workers wanted to form a union.
Chipotle announced last year that it would permanently close its Augusta, Maine location after workers filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board for a union election. The NLRB later said the closure was illegal.
The Maine location was the first chain to file a union petition. It says it will be on the list.
The company will also be required to post notices in its dozens of New England stores saying it will not close stores or discriminate against employees for supporting the union, the settlement said.
Brandi McNeice, a former Augusta store employee and union leader, said, “This is telling companies that closing stores and blackballing employees is not Chipotle’s job, it’s theirs.” It sends a message that it’s not going to work for us,” he said. In a statement provided by his AFL-CIO in Drive, Maine.
Settlement is cheaper than legal battle, says Chipotle
In a statement, Chipotle said it settled the lawsuit because fighting it would be burdensome and costly. The company respects “the right of employees to organize under the National Labor Relations Act” and is “committed to ensuring a fair and equitable work environment that provides opportunity for all,” the company said. Chief Corporate Affairs Officer Laurie Shallow said. statement.
“We settled this lawsuit not because we did anything wrong, but because the time, effort and cost of litigation far exceeded the settlement agreement,” Shalow said.
The Augusta location closed last summer. Workers described the closure as retaliation for union activity, but company representatives insist the closure has nothing to do with union formation.
The pay workers receive depends on the average number of hours worked, wage rate and years of service before closing, union officials said.
Kayla Brad, a spokesperson for the Congressional and Public Affairs Office of the National Labor Relations Commission, said there are now 10 other unfair labor practices cases against Chipotle that are still unresolved. Brad said the parties agreed to settle four of these cases in January.
Workers also finally voted to unionize at a Chipotle store in Lansing, Michigan. September.