Chipotle Workers Walk Out Over Labor Complaints

Photo: Keith Srakocic (AP)

Workers at Chipotle Mexican Grille in New York City went on strike Tuesday over complaints about labor violations. The Service Employees International Union 32BJ said that more than 20 Chipotle restaurants in the city are facing complaints about last-minute scheduling.

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“Keep your tacos, keep your bowls, pay your workers what they’re owed!” workers reportedly chanted in Greenwich Village.

A part-time worker, Carlos Hernandez, said he didn’t trust management at the company. “Right now, we’re fighting for our rights as Chipotle workers,” he told the New York Daily News. “I honestly don’t believe the management shows the employees respect. They just don’t want to give us the hours. They don’t want to give us more money.”

Earlier this month, the city’s Department of Consumer and Worker Protection sued Chipotle over a city law about giving workers a two-week advance notice about their work schedules and being entitled to extra pay for schedule changes at the last minute.

“When fast food companies violate these provisions, workers lack the advance notice they need to plan other responsibilities such as second jobs, doctors’ appointments or childcare,” 32BJ President Kyle Bragg said in a statement.

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Laurie Schalow, Chipotle’s chief corporate reputation officer, said in a statement: “Chipotle has been working cooperatively with the city to ensure we have systems and processes in place to comply with the law, so we believe the filing of charges was unnecessary.”

“Regardless, we will continue to cooperate with the city and we are addressing any prior noncompliance concerns,” she added.

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Chipotle worker Jeremy Espinal said: “We just want them to follow the Fair Workweek Laws. They’re trying to do us dirty by keeping us dumb. And on top of that, they’re keeping us stressed by keeping our hours low.”

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