Workers ask Chipotle for longer contracts to survive

New York, May 11 (EFE).- Workers of the popular Chipotle fast food restaurant chain in New York, mostly Latinos, demanded this Wednesday that the company comply with the Fair Work Week Law, which allows them to request more hours of work, to be able to subsist and support their families.

Employees and former employees of Chipotle, supported by the 32BJ union, protested today in front of two of the chain’s locations in lower Manhattan and also accused the company of being selective in terms of the workers who are granted increased working hours.

“It is not fair that they cut working hours, they prefer to give more hours to new employees,” said Brenda García, who has been working for Chipotle for a year and who assured that she cannot “survive” with 14 hours working only two days a week. .

Garcia, a single mother, has a 14-year-old son who depends on her salary of $17 an hour.

«I want more hours of work to pay my bills and support my family,» he said, stressing that employees «work hard, are dedicated» and deserve decent employment.

He also pointed out that he is only demanding that the company fulfill the promise it makes when it hires new employees, who it assures will work between 35 and 40 hours per week.

According to the 32BJ union, the chain refuses to increase the working hours of its employees to force them to leave their jobs and hire more staff, under the same conditions, and that they are unaware of the law that covers employees of fast food companies.

He explained that Chipotle is violating the Fair Workweek Act for fast food workers, which establishes that employers must communicate their work schedules and the opportunity to work more hours well in advance to their staff.

In addition, that law prohibits dismissals for reasons of downsizing, as well as reducing the hours of workers by more than 15% without just cause or without legitimate economic reasons.

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The union recalled that in 2021, the city of New York sued Chipotle, alleging 600,000 violations of this law over two years and requesting 150 million in damages from workers. This lawsuit has not yet been resolved. «Chipotle’s blatant disregard for our laws and its employees is unacceptable,» said then-Mayor Bill de Blasio.

After protesting in front of a Chipotle near the popular Chinatown, the workers took to the streets demanding «justice» in Spanish, while they went to a second restaurant, located a few steps from the New York City Hall.

Chipotle, which offers a mix of «fast-food» and Tex-Mex food, has about 90 stores in New York, employing about 6,500 people. It is also widespread throughout the United States, with nearly 3,000 franchises employing 88,000 people, according to Forbes.

(c) EFE Agency