Chipotle employees in Augusta may be the first in the nation to unionize following labor concerns

Chipotle employees in Augusta will vote on July 1, whether to form a union.
Chipotle employees in Augusta will vote on July 1, whether to form a union.(WMTW)
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 7:01 AM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Maine (WMTW) - The Chipotle in Augusta will be closed for the rest of the week to customers.

General managers have been sent to provide staff with employee training, one of the many things employees have been asking corporate for.

Gregory Jazowski has been a crew member at this Chipotle location for 7 months. He says orientation and training practices were lacking in the restaurant.

Jazowski adds that although they are receiving training now, this will not deter him and his fellow employee’s efforts to establish their union, Chipotle United.

Some of the issues that sparked union talks according to Jazowski include short staffing.

Jazowski also claims some of his coworkers went at least 3 months, working 80 hour shifts without pay, and had to pursue legal action.

Chipotle did not respond to our request for comment when it came to payment concerns.

Jessica Picard, Communications Manager for DHHS, said they cannot confirm, deny, or comment on complaints or investigations due to confidentiality.

Picard adding that anyone who has not been paid for work they have done should contact the DHHS Wage and Hour Division at (207) 623-7900 or https://www.maine.gov/labor/contact/index.html.

Laurie Schalow, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer at Chipotle, did release a statement that said the company immediately hired additional people once they were made aware of staffing issues.

Schalow added that Chipotle would not stand in the way of employee unionization, and that they respect their employee’s rights under the National Labor Relations Act.

The next step in the unionization process for Augusta Chipotle employees, will be to vote on whether to form a union.

That vote is expected to take place on July 1st.

The Chipotle location in Augusta will be back open to customers this Monday.

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