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Chipotle Workers Protest Firings


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Wapo Article

I guess Chipotle isn't as squeaky clean as I thought.

The situation is awful in my opinion. I was in Atlanta when the raids to the DC area Chipotle restaurants occurred. I was shocked to read how many alleged illegal immigrants the company employed in this area's restaurants. I was actually surprised to see the difference in the workforce in Atlanta (non-Hispanic workers were the vast majority) when I grabbed lunch at a Virginia Highland outpost one day.

A few weeks later I grabbed dinner at the Woodley Park outpost and was surprised that it was staffed by almost all new workers, only 2 of whom seem to be Hispanic. It was literally a night/day experience.

The raids at Chipotle were done in advance of a new system for verifying employee's status being brought online. Chipotle corporate has feigned shock at the numbers of illegals they had hired, and promised to use the e-verify system moving forward. Good on 'em... but what about the thousands of thousands of employees that have been adversely impacted. They may be illegal but Chipotle made it possible for them to have a better life even as the company (likely) saved money on labor costs.

ETA: I have a hard time believing that Chipotle wasn't aware they employed illegal aliens (the same way I don't believe American Apparel didn't realize it either). The advantage of e-verify is that it will remove the willful ignorance excuse from the table for employers.

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The advantage of e-verify is that it will remove the willful ignorance excuse from the table for employers.

Which is precisely the disadvantage for businesses that have always complied with the law - it is yet another process/form/declaration that needs to be made with each new hire - at best a nuisance, at worst a costly additional regulation compliance step that doesn't make the good guys any gooder. Just more red tape really. I guess it will help with places like Chipotle - but to what - make those same people completely unemployable? So that they instead tap public assistance, or my back pocket?

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