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SCOTUS rules for Trump on ballot issue; CA high school students earn Google Career Certificates in high-demand fields; NY faith leaders help people address ecological grief; and a group offers abortion travel benefits for Mississippi women.

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The SCOTUS rules no state can remove a federal candidate from an election ballot saying that power rests with Congress, Super Tuesday primaries are today in sixteen states and a Colorado Court rules in the killing of Elijah McClain in police custody.

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Hard times could be ahead for rural school districts that spent federal pandemic money on teacher salaries, a former Oregon lumber community drafts a climate-action plan and West Virginians may soon buy raw milk from squeaky-clean cows.

Chipotle Pays Augusta, Maine Union Organizers for Labor Violations

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Tuesday, March 28, 2023   

Mexican fast-food chain Chipotle will pay workers at its former location in Augusta, Maine as part of a settlement over labor law violations. The National Labor Relations Board found the chain of restaurants broke laws by closing the location in July just weeks after employees became the first Chipotle workers in the country to file for union recognition. The company also blacklisted union organizers from being hired at other Chipotle locations.

Brandi McNease, Chipotle United organizer, said the company got the message.

"The union busting will not be tolerated and there's no way around it," she said.

Chipotle will pay a total of $240,000 to employees who were on the payroll when it closed the store, and offer "preferential rehiring" to all Augusta employees at its other Maine locations for up to one year.

The Augusta workers formed their union to bargain for safer working conditions, better staffing and a voice in any negotiations regarding workplace policies, they said. Now stores throughout the Northeast will post notices stating that Chipotle broke the law, and that employees have the right to unionize without consequences.
It is "a win for food service workers everywhere," McNease said.

"We fought for this specifically because the movement isn't over and every employee in those stores should know that they have rights and that the Labor Board is on our side," she added.

Chipotle was not forced to reopen the Augusta location, so workers say the payouts will help those who have yet to secure employment elsewhere, as well as inspire other Chipotle workers to stand up for respectful working conditions.


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