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Ahead of House Labor Hearing, Pingree Shines Spotlight on Chipotle’s Union Busting Practices

In June, Maine’s 1st District Congresswoman called on the NLRB to investigate Chipotle Corp. for abruptly shuttering Augusta store after workers filed chain’s first-ever petition to unionize

Ahead of today’s House Education and Labor Committee hearing on removing barriers to organizing, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) reiterated her support for workers pursuing unionization in Maine and across the country, drawing attention to Chipotle’s union-busting tactics in Augusta:

“This summer, Chipotle abruptly closed a store in my district within weeks of workers filing to unionize. Multi-billion-dollar corporations are engaging in these union-busting tactics all over the country, limiting the bargaining powers of workers. The widespread examples of unfair labor practices at companies like Chipotle, Starbucks, Amazon, and more raise questions about whether penalties against employers are strong enough. I’m proud to be an original cosponsor of the PRO Act, which would increase civil penalties when employers are found to violate workers’ rights under the National Labor Relations Act.

“I’ve called for a National Labor Relations Board investigation on the Chipotle closure, which is in progress, and I am working with my colleagues in Congress to continue holding these corporations accountable. Today’s Education and Labor Committee hearing is an important opportunity for Congress to shine a light on the constant and escalating attacks on unions as we work to support and protect workers in Maine and across the U.S.”

In June, Chipotle in Augusta became the first store to file a petition with the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) seeking representation; less than a month later, Chipotle abruptly announced that it was closing the store. Pingree condemned these potentially illegal union-busting tactics and called for the NLRB to investigate

In 2021, Pingree cosponsored and helped the House pass the Protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act, the most comprehensive pro-labor legislation in decades. 

Witnesses in today’s Education and Labor Committee hearing include labor and workers’ rights experts from Cornell University and Georgetown Law School; a Starbucks barista from Buffalo, N.Y.; and the former chair of the NLRB. The hybrid hearing is scheduled to begin at 10:15 a.m. and can be streamed live here


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