Chipotle workers in Michigan vote to unionize


(NewsNation) — Workers at a Chipotle Mexican Grill in Michigan have voted to form a union, establishing the first at the fast food chain.

Employees at a Lansing, Michigan store voted 11-3 in support of unionizing under the Brotherhood of Teamsters, according to a tally by the U.S. National Labor Relations Board.

“We’re disappointed that the employees at our Lansing, MI restaurant chose to have a third party speak on their behalf because we continue to believe that working directly together is best for our employees,” Chipotle spokesperson Laurie Schalow said in a statement.

“I am so excited we won. Being one of the first fast food restaurants to do this definitely proves a point to the entire country that we can do this,” 18-year-old Samantha Smith said in an interview with the Washington Post. “This is a gigantic first step toward doing that and improving the lives of future generations.”

Workers at the store had cited low wages and scheduling issues as the driving forces behind the vote.

The store in Michigan was the second to seek a union. In June, workers at a Chipotle in Augusta, Maine, filed a petition to form a union, but the company later permanently closed the store.

The Chipotle vote comes on the heels of dozens of other union votes at Starbucks and Apple stores as well as Amazon warehouses, all within the past year.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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