NYC Chipotle Workers' Efforts to Unionize on Hold
Wednesday, July 27, 2022
It has been about three years since workers at Chipotle restaurants in New York City started their effort to unionize, and it hasn't happened yet.
Lawsuits were filed by the city against the restaurant chain in 2019 and in 2021, alleging violations of New York's Fair Workweek Law in creating more predictable work schedules.
The company was fined more than $150 million.
Jeremy Espinal, labor organizer for 32BJ SEIU, said the efforts to unionize continue to be hampered by misinformation.
"We've seen workers where we reach out to them, and they have a very negative experience with us; where they try to run away, or they'll yell at us that they're not interested in talking to us," Espinal noted. "And a lot of that comes from fear of not knowing. They don't know who we are, they don't know what we're trying to talk to them about, or they've been scared by the company already."
Espinal, who used to work at Chipotle, said other recent, successful efforts to organize at chains like Starbucks have revived the conversation about the potential benefits of being part of a union. But he acknowledged it is tough when a company pushes back, not only locally, but nationally.
The formal vote on establishing a union may have stalled, but Espinal emphasized he knows what needs to take place in order to move forward.
"Workers coming together, workers showing their strength to the company, workers showing their value to the company," Espinal stressed. "I think definitely, it has to come from the workers, because obviously, a union is made up of workers, and it's as strong as the workers as a whole."
New York is one of a handful of cities with so-called "predictive scheduling" laws, allowing workers to plan their schedules and have some idea of what they will be paid. A few states have passed laws restricting them.
get more stories like this via email
Progressive groups are speaking out against the idea of a constitutional convention, warning it could be used to impose conservative policies on …
Health and Wellness
Today is National Gay Men's HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, and Nevada is one of the 10 states with the highest HIV infection rates. In 2021, more than 11,00…
The current Farm Bill expires Sept. 30 and with a looming government shutdown, reauthorization does not appear imminent. Wisconsin farm groups say …
Kentuckians continue to be charged, jailed and fined for cannabis-related offenses at high rates, despite dramatic shifts in public opinion, …
Three conservation groups have sued to stop a large logging project near Yellowstone National Park they say threatens endangered species in Montana…
Elected officials in New York and across the country are urging state and local governments to use new funding available through the Environmental Pro…
A new poll found Pennsylvania Republican voters want political candidates to prioritize preserving and growing manufacturing including tariffs in the …
A California group formed after the firestorm that leveled the town of Paradise is stepping up to help Maui recover from its own disaster last month…