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Chipotle Shuts Down as Workers Protest “Borderline Sweatshop Conditions”
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Chipotle Shuts Down as Workers Protest “Borderline Sweatshop Conditions”

Summary: Managers at the Penn State Chipotle walked out on Wednesday, complaining of “borderline sweatshop conditions.” The restaurant was forced to temporarily close.

The Huffington Post reports that the Penn State Chipotle, located near the university, was forced to close on Wednesday when its managers quit over alleged terrible work hours and understaffing.


A sign posted on the door stated, “Want to know why were [sic] closed? Ask our corporate offices why their employees are forced to work in borderline sweatshop conditions. Almost the entire management and crew have resigned. People>Profits.”

The bottom of the letter asks consumers to “spread awareness” by using the hashtags “Chipotle” and “ChipotleSwag.”

Chris Arnold, a spokesman for the restaurant, stated, “Our Penn State restaurant was closed when a few employees quit, locking out a majority of others who are enthusiastic to return to work.” The store was up and running again by 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday.

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Arnold explained that the managers who quit had the keys to the restaurant. He did not respond to inquiries as to how many workers quit or are still employed with the store.

A regional manager arrived at the Penn State location to check out the situation. He asked that the sign be removed from the door.

Brian Healy, a former manager at the restaurant, told Onward State that the restaurant had been understaffed, which meant employees had to work ten to twelve hour shifts—with no breaks.

“Working conditions are heinous. I’m not trying to take down the Chipotle corporation, I just want to see people treated better,” he explained.

Fast food employees around the country have been protesting for the past few months, demanding a higher hourly wage. Hundreds have been arrested for taking part in the protests. However, Chipotle pays its employees a higher hourly wage than many of its competitors, and it is not known at this time whether the shut down of the Penn State Chipotle was related to earnings of the employees.

Photo credit: Twitter


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