updated - June 19, 2021 Saturday EDT
Managers and staff of a Chipotle branch near Pennsylvania State University resigned, forcing the store to close on Wednesday.
The staff left a typewritten message on the store's door stating brutal work hours and understaffing as primary causes of their resignation.
"Ask our corporate offices why their employees are forced to work in borderline sweatshop conditions. Almost the entire management and crew have resigned," the sign read.
Underneath the message, "People > Profit" was printed.
The Chipotle in downtown State College is closed after employees left this note about sweatshops pic.twitter.com/bwF3FRDpBt
— The Daily Collegian (@DailyCollegian) September 10, 2014
Chipotle spokesman Chris Arnold said the shut down caused inconvenience as some employees who were willing to go back to work couldn't enter the store. The managers who held the keys were one of the employees who quit. Arnold refused to reveal how many staff resigned from the store.
A Chipotle regional manager arrived and asked the present employees to remove the sign from the door. The manager asked permission to take down the sign and encouraged the present crew to talk with him inside the store.
"I have to take the signs down. I'm here to listen to you guys no matter what, but I have to take the signs down," said the manager.
Stephen Healy, a Penn state student and former part-time manager, put up the sign not as an attack to the company but a move that shows that nothing in the management will change. "I wasn't trying to unionize or start a revolution," said Healy.
It wasn't a move against the company but only to the specific store, Healy said. Most of the staff are tempted to leave the job but forced to stay due to financial reasons. Healy hoped that the conditions will improve for those who wish to continue working for the store. He worked in the Chipotle branch for two years and rendered his two weeks notice like the other managers.
The store re-opened at 5 p.m. on Wednesday.
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