Burrito Wars: Hundreds of Illegal Workers Fired from Chipotle; Union Reacts with Protests

  • Share
  • Read Later

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Chipotle restaurants have long been known for offering delicious Mexican food made with sustainably raised products — dubbed “Food with Integrity.” But recently the chain, has come under government scrutiny for employing illegal immigrants, with more than 100 workers being fired from Minnesota establishments alone.

While an investigation by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency found that workers at more than 50 locations turned in phony-looking I-9 forms that could not be verified, the mass firings sparked protests from members of the Service Employees International Union, who claimed that it happened without explanation, and workers have been subject to delays in receiving paychecks.

(More on Time.com: See why Chipotle wants your junk mail)

Last month, eight protesters were cited for trespassing at a Minneapolis Chipotle after they chained themselves together, blocking the door to the establishment. They carried signs that read, “Chipotle: You cannot sell Mexican food and then sell out Mexican workers.” But Chris Arnold, a spokesperson for the company, recently told The Wall Street Journal that their claims were false, saying, “Ours is a culture that is built on recognizing top-performing employees and developing them into future leaders, so this is a particularly troubling situation for us because of the impact this has on future generations of leaders and managers. We’d rather keep all these people but under the law we can’t do that.”

The investigation is all a part of President Obama’s updated immigration policy, which focuses on employer responsibility and hiring practices, and it seems like they’re not letting up anytime soon. Rumored audits are now pending at Chipotle locations in both Virginia and Washington, D.C. While NewsFeed understands the severity of the situation’s legal implications, we can’t help but crave one of the Chipotle’s hefty burritos, no matter who they are rolled by. (Via New York Daily News)

(More on TIME.com: See how we see immigration, and why it’s wrong)