Chipotle closes a Maine store, and workers say it’s because of a union drive. The shutdown was announced hours before a hearing on a possible vote to unionize the location. “We have been unable to adequately staff this remote restaurant,” the company said in a statement.

A lawyer representing the workers filed a charge with the labor board contending that the closing was an illegal act of retaliation. “I’m referring to this as Union Busting 101,” said the lawyer, Jeffrey Neil Young. When a Rhodes scholar joined Starbucks in 2020, none of the company's 9,000 U.S. locations had a union.

A little-known independent union scored a stunning victory at an Amazon warehouse on Staten Island. Unlike at Starbucks, unionizing workers at Amazon has been a longer, messier slog. The labor board will investigate the charge and issue a formal complaint if it finds merit in the accusation.

A handful of workers at the store walked off the job in mid-June. They said the unsafe conditions stemmed from understaffing and insufficient training. Within a few days, the company closed the store to the public while it sought to improve staffing. The two sides could reach a settlement beforehand.

On June 22, workers filed a petition to hold a union election. The labor board requires at least 30 percent of workers to indicate their support before it will order one. Chipotle had asserted in filings that the election should not go forward, partly because the store was understaffed.
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