“We were making money for them”

Twin Cities City Pages reports: The Chipotle restaurant chain’s mass firings of Latino workers at Minnesota restaurants continued this week, with workers at some locations fired yesterday at the end of their shifts.

When [The City Pages] broke the story of the Chipolte firings last week, advocates for the fired workers estimated that about 50 people had lost their job. But the firings have continued into this week, and the Minnesota Immigration Rights Action Committee now estimates that at least 80 workers have been fired from Chipotle restaurants across Minnesota and at least one location in Wisconsin.

That number could still grow, as Latino workers in several locations say they are being asked to train in new white workers who they fear will become their replacements once the training is complete….

…​Juan started at Chipotle five years ago, working full-time for $7.50 an hour. When he was fired yesterday he was making $9.45. Maria said she started at $7 an hour six years ago, and was making $9.50 when she was fired. She was also on the list for a $400 Christmas bonus, she said.

Chipotle_Juan.jpg
“Juan” was fired at the end of his shift yesterday.
Chipotle_Maria.jpg
“Maria” supported her family of five on her income from Chipotle.

“They knew, but as long as we were making money for them, they were happy,” Juan said. “Now they’re happy to have us go, because we’ve been working long enough that we’re making more money.”

Both fired workers said working conditions at Chipotle were abusive long before they were fired. Managers often asked them to work extra hours without overtime, and those who refused were punished with fewer hours of work the following week. They also said Latino workers were often given harder and more unpleasant work than the restaurant’s white employees.

…Neither of the fired employees know how they’re going to make rent through the winter. Juan, like many of the fired employees, has not been paid for his last days of work, and though Minnesota law requires that fired workers be paid for the balance of their work within 24 hours, Chipotle has yet to comply.

“We’re just asking for fair treatment,” Juan said. “We’re not taking anyone’s job. We came and applied for those jobs and we got them. I’ve seen lots of people come and take a job at Chipotle and then leave, because they can’t take the low pay and the working conditions. But we don’t have a lot of options, so we stay.”(more here)

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This entry was posted in Food, global economy, Minnesota, Movement, People. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to “We were making money for them”

  1. Pingback: DREAM act defeat: what next | global politics for everyday life

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