Saturday, January 15, 2011


The following call for a solidarity action with Chipotle workers in the Minneapolis area comes from the SEIU Local 26.

Solidarity with Chipotle Workers Action
Time Thursday, January 20 · 10:00am - 1:00pm

Location SEIU Local 26 Union Hall
706 North 1st Street, Suite 110
Minneapolis, MN

Created By SEIU Local 26

More Info
Join us and our allies as we let Chipotle know that workers rights are just as important as animal rights. We'll be gathering at the SEIU Local 26 Hall and traveling to a nearby restaurant to let the fast-food restaurant know enough is enough.

Integrity starts with people.

In December, right before Christmas, Chipotle abruptly fired more than 150 Latino immigrant workers at multiple stores in Minneapolis, MN without notice or paying back wages. To continue using “Mexican” in its name and the chili pepper in its logo, we expect Chipotle to treat the hardworking Mexican American employees who’ve made their company a success with integrity and respect.

Chipotle prides itself on serving food with integrity; however it is not sufficiently committed to treating people with dignity. In fact, Chipotle treats its chickens and hogs better than it treats its employees The slogan, "Food with Integrity" means nothing when employees are treated with disdain.

The real winners of today’s broken immigration system are companies like Chipotle who reap huge profits off of a low-wage immigrant workforce. Instead of standing up for a comprehensive solution that would lift all worker wages, Chipotle scapegoats its workers and turns a blind eye, supporting practices and politicians that are anti-immigrant. Enforcement without comprehensive immigration reform just perpetuates a system
where corporations profit, workers suffer and our immigration problems continue to fester without relief.


• We are calling upon Chipotle to stand up and treat its workers with the same dignity they give to their ingredients. We are asking Chipotle to do the following:
* Pay, in full, back wages to immigrant workers wrongly fired at Chipotle stores in Minneapolis, MN.
* Stand up for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, because it’s good for workers and it’s good for companies.
* Refuse to work with suppliers that support anti-immigrant candidates through political contributions.


Sharon said...

What are you talking about with this "back wages" thing? Are you saying that the fired workers are not being paid for time they actually worked? Can you document that in some way? I find it kind of hard to believe.

mollymew said...

I love this sort of thing. Quite frankly if you are simply a disinetrested member of the public who questions things I will shit my pants in public. Chipotle has taken advantage of the investigations by La Migra in which THEY should have been charged to skim a few dollars off their legal obligations. Here are four references, out of DOZENS on the matter. The first one is most relevant.

1)Stamford Advocate
2)Diversity News
3)City Pages (Minneapolis)
4)The Wobbly Goblin

I could go on and on, but I am SURE that you think that these workers don't DESERVE pay for the hours they have worked. Take it up with SEIU Local 16 if you like.

Sharon said...

What a nice way you have of expressing yourself Molly. But yes, I am a disinterested member of the public, in the sense I have no connection with Chipotle or anyone working for Chipotle. Actually my connection with C. is just that I eat their burritos about once a week, in a place far far away from Minnesota.

So I read the first story you provided and it sounds to be a he said she said story (or rather a workers say, chipotle says, story).

"The company said it is paying employees all wages owed, including bonuses earned and any unused vacation time. In addition, employees whose status has been questioned by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency are being given the opportunity to provide documentation to correct any administrative errors that may have been made, the company said."

As to what I think about these workers, I think they should be paid everything owed them including vacation time etc, and then deported. And yes I agree that we should change the law so that employers face charges as well as employees.

So Molly have you ever asked yourself what is happening at these Chipotle stores right now? Like they haven't shut down, have they? So what did they do? Obviously they hired *legal Americans*. Those countrymen of yours were doubtless glad to get the job. Why are you not on their side?

Some reading for you:

Just because the sinister thug union you seem to be tied to has concocted a global plan to break down borders in order to increase their membership, does not make it a right or moral position to take. It is shameful for anyone to join with them in that.

mollymew said...

Well Sharon,
Now that you have ceased from frantically dropping back here to continue the argument....I wish that I had kept track. It was MORE than 10 times but less than 15 (I think)'s time for reply. I will have to take you at your word as being "disinterested", but I could hardly call this sort of thing "uninterested". Seems like something that pushes certain buttons, but more on that later.

First of all, the statement of the company basically boils down to a "we'll think about it" at the time of a meeting in January. Hopefully this has already happened, and "hopefully" proper compensation hs been paid by now even though Minnesota law requires compensation within two weeks. The time of the dismissals was back in December.

Speaking of LAW I think you should be ashamed, as an American, by the fact that I, as a Canadian, have to REMIND you of the obvious. IT has been illegal for decades !!! for anyone to employ an illegal immigrant in the USA under federal law. The "trick" is that La Migra (ICE) almost only enforces this sort of thing against the immigrants and employers are rarely prosecuted. Perhaps you are unaware of this because of the rarity of such prosecutions.

The usual procedure is for the employer to give the employee 90 DAYS before termination to produce the required documentation. This is QUITE different from an immediate termination. On the other hand you are obviously under a serious !!! delusion that the employer in question would "hire legal Americans" (whatever that is beyond registered Indian tribes) rather than simply go short staffed and demand speed-ups and enforced overtime until the "heat had cleared" and they would hire more people that they could easily exploit. Such faith in the goodness of Chipotle is truly touching.

I'll deal with the "thugishness" later.

mollymew said...

Thuggishness !!!
I am quite impressed (not) by your implication that the SEIU are a "sinister thug union". WOW, you'd think you were talking about the Teamsters under Jimmy Hoffa. Excuse me...we are talking about people who are basically a bunch of retail clerks. No doubt there are some big and impressive members amongst them, but don't you think you are being a little bit silly !!! by repeating conservative propaganda about their "intimidation factor ?

Probably not, because I think this sort of thing is beyond you. I googled "SEIU thugs" and got 18,400 hits. I googled "Tea Party thugs" and got 261,000 hits. BIG difference !. I have to admit that a lot of the hits on the Tea Party were them whining and complaining about losing fights and (literally) repeating over and over about how one of their buses had been egged. In right wing American mythology the SEIU seems to have become Goliath, the Nephilim, the Daityas, the Titans, the Jotan, Paul Bunyan, the Cawr, the Oni,and Finn MacCumhail all at once. The SEIU should be proud for being so overestimated, even if the overestimation is quite silly.

Still there was enough "thuggery" on the part of the Tea Party to more than outweight anything from ALL the unions, let alone the SEIU. Now I know that we could both trade "thuggery" stories (with me giving three and you giving one given the country you live in) untl we both were long since deceased. Seems like politics is a blood sport down there. Literally !!

However, I will accept your rant about how you don't like immigrants for what it is. It's your privilege. I do suggest, however, that you consider learning another language- like most of the civilized world has. Maybe that will be Spanish, a language that is actually much more rational than English. Or maybe in your case it might be Korean.

If you don't us northern neighbours who are more civilized are more than willing to pick up the slack and buy you out and put you to work at fast food restaurants. You are free to retain your illusion of superiority in such a case. We are nothing if not generous, and we won't demand that you be repatriated to the depressed communities you will come from.

mollymew said...

So goddamn good of us even if you have bad attitudes that make you unfit to live amongst civilized people. We'll deal with it as it comes.