More than a dozen Chipotle workers in Washington Heights on Wednesday stepped away from making food to protest poor working conditions at the popular fast food chain.
“Fast food workers are under attack. What do we do? Stand up,” the Chipotle workers chanted outside their location at 4009 Broadway.
The employees claim they’ve had their hours drastically cut, putting many of them in a position where they can no longer pay rent and other necessary bills.
“They have been subjected to things that are outside their job descriptions, who in the middle of the pandemic have been serving this community. Chipotle is a corporation who has come into this community and has the audacity to mistreat their workers,” said Assemblywoman Carmen De La Rosa, who attended the protest.
The workers protesting said the company is violating New York City’s fair workweek law, which went into effect in 2017 to regulate the fast food industry. The law protects staff from being overworked and prevents managers from being able to change schedules without consent from the employee.
The Chipotle workers said due to the corporation cutting hours, there are fewer people working each shift, making their jobs even more demanding and unsustainable.
“They deserve fair pay, they deserve transparent schedules, they deserve to be treated with dignity and I will continue to stand with them until the owners of this Chipotle do the right thing," said De La Rosa.
Chipotle workers across the city and nation have been holding strikes and protests over similar conditions for the last few years. In April 2019 and April 2021, the fast food chain was sued by New York City over scheduling issues and violations to the city’s workweek laws.
Chipotle did not immediately respond to our request for comment.