February 8, 2011, - 11:56 am
So, the lefty-oriented food chain that preaches “integrity” to the rest of us doesn’t have any. Isn’t that always the way? Apparently, saving American jobs and hiring American citizens isn’t part of Chipotle’s definition of integrity. It’s sad when a chain that brags about how humanely it treats animals can’t bring itself to treat American citizens as humanely.
Chipotle Mexican Grill has a lot going for it [including] . . . a hip and eco-friendly image. . . .
And then it has something not going its way — a federal crackdown on its immigrant labor force that has so far forced Chipotle to fire hundreds of allegedly illegal workers in the state of Minnesota, perhaps more than half its staff there.
The probe is widening. Co-Chief Executive Monty Moran told Reuters on Friday that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has also issued “notices of inspection” for restaurants in Washington D.C. and Virginia.
Investors in the Wall Street darling are taking note and one firm, Calvert Investments, plans to talk to Chipotle about the large number of undocumented workers uncovered. . . .
Chipotle — a Denver-based company whose motto is “Food With Integrity” — is one of the most well-known names caught in the immigration enforcement shift that began two years ago. . . .
Alejandro, one of the Chipotle workers fired in Minnesota who asked that his last name not be published for fear of reprisals, worked there for five years and earned $9.42 per hour, taking home $1,200 a month. That allowed him to send up to $800 per month to his daughters to keep studying in Mexico. . . .
Alejandro, 37, and co-worker Tanya, a 35-year-old mother of four, admit they are in the United States illegally and had to use false documents to get their jobs at Chipotle.
“I believe that when you go to apply there, they know beforehand that you don’t have papers,” Tanya said by phone. “And after the six years I worked there, or the 10 years of some of my colleagues, they get rid of us without warning.” . . .
The company, which has gained a cult-like following by serving natural and organic food where possible, stands out as one of the industry’s top performers when it comes to sales at established restaurants and stock gains. Its stock price is flirting with $250 compared to under $40 in November 2008.
Here’s the very sad part, below. Chipotle and its investors don’t care. They know they’re gonna get away with this. And, as you read this, ask yourself why Sholom Rubashkin, who owned Agriprocessors, is in prison for employing people with false documents, and the Chipotle execs will just pay some small fines. I guess none of them are Jews, just like the Wal-Mart execs who pressured janitorial contractors to employ illegal aliens, were not Jewish and didn’t spend a day in federal prison. As you’ll recall, in the Rubashkin trial, the Bush Justice Department told the federal court that because Rubashkin and all American Jews are flight risks to Israel, he shouldn’t get bail.
Investors, however, may not see much risk to Chipotle or other fast food companies from their immigration quandaries. Chipotle stock still ended 3 percent higher on Friday after the news of the widening immigration probe.
After all, the companies can simply go out and hire others or pay fines to ICE that probably won’t dent their bottom lines. Total ICE fines last year were a paltry $7 million. . . .
Indeed, it is not just a few workers who need to be hired and trained to keep the places running. Chipotle will not disclose the total number fired, but it could be as many as 700 of its estimated 1,200 Minnesota workers.
More than half the workers are illegal, they obviously know this, and all they’ll get is a few dollars in fines?
“Food with integrity,” indeed.
According to Reuters, are we supposed to have empathy for a corporation that purports via its motto to be, “Food with Integrity,” yet as a general rule hired illegal workers and does not want to deal with the consequences of knowingly breaking the law?
Gee, I wonder if I can get away with knowingly breaking the law. Sorry, but I don’t feel bad for Chipotle. I just don’t.
I don’t either. I feel sorry for the many unemployed American citizens who would love a job at Chipotle but can’t get one because, apparently, being born in the U.S. is not part of “food with integrity.”
So, to summarize the hierarchy at Chipotle . . .
Animals, First. Illegal Aliens, Second. American Citizens, Dead Last.
Tags: animals, Chipotle, eco-friendly, Food with Integrity, ICE, Illegal Aliens, Immigration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, jobs, Minnesota, Monty Moran, notice of inspection