A customer carries a Chipotle bag outside a restaurant in Santa Clara, California, U.S., Tuesday, October 19, 2021.
David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images
A Chipotle Mexican Grill location in Augusta, Maine, filed a petition for a union election on Wednesday, becoming the first of the burrito chain’s restaurants to join the recent organizing push that has swept the country.
The Maine AFL-CIO said that restaurant workers “demand safe and adequate staffing in their store”. Employees are seeking to unionize as Chipotle United, an independent union, according to the organization.
Workers at airlines, retailers and tech companies have organized, fueled by a desire for better working conditions during the pandemic and newfound power gained in a tight labor market. Even the restaurant industry, where unions are rare, has not been immune to union pressure. Baristas at more than 150 Starbucks coffee shops have voted to unionize in the past nine months.
Chipotle employees have tried to unionize in the past, but the chain has successfully quashed those efforts. In 2019, the National Labor Relations Board accused the company of violating federal labor laws by allegedly firing a worker in New York who was trying to organize a union.
A representative for Chipotle did not immediately respond to a CNBC request for comment.