The first Chipotle Mexican Grill site to vote in favour of unionisation was in Lansing, Michigan.
By a vote of 11 to 3, store employees approved joining the International Brotherhood of Teamsters.
Following more than 200 Starbucks cafes in the US voted to unionise in the previous 10 months, activists for Chipotle won in Michigan.
A Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurant in Lansing, Michigan, became the chain’s first location to vote to unionize.
Workers at the store voted 11 to three in favor of unionizing under the International Brotherhood of Teamsters, according to the tally conducted on Thursday.
“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 to CNBC.
Chipotle has five working days in which to submit an election objection. The regional director of the National Labor Relations Board will certify the outcomes if Chipotle decides not to object, at which point the business must begin bargaining in good faith with the union.
According to Scott Quenneville, president of Local 243, “Chipotle pulled in revenue of $7.5 billion last year, and just as we’re seeing workers of all ages and backgrounds across the country take on these corporate giants, it’s so inspiring to see Chipotle workers stand up and demand more from a company that can clearly afford it.” “These employees are supported by the Teamsters. They will have a union they can be proud of and one that is efficient.
The Chipotle restaurant in Lansing was the second ever to submit a petition to the NLRB for unionisation.
The chain’s first location to apply for a union election was a Chipotle restaurant in Augusta, Maine, in late June. Chipotle United, which is not associated with any bigger unions, is attempting to organise there. After the petition was submitted, the corporation permanently closed the facility, citing staffing issues. The NLRB has received a complaint from Chipotle United alleging that the action was retaliatory.
The win for Chipotle organizers in Michigan comes on the heels of more than 200 Starbucks cafes in the U.S. voting to unionize in the last 10 months. Despite recent high-profile efforts, unions are a rarity in the restaurant industry. Only 1.2% of workers at food and drinking outlets were members of unions last year, which is well below the private-sector unionization rate of 6.1%, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.