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rockdawg21
02-09-2011, 02:48 AM
It's called karma.

http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110207/ts_nm/us_usa_immigration_fastfood;_ylt=AlPwayLKhporZJxOD 4NCr1Ss0NUE;_ylu=X3oDMTJvdGwxM2lzBGFzc2V0A25tLzIwM TEwMjA3L3VzX3VzYV9pbW1pZ3JhdGlvbl9mYXN0Zm9vZARwb3M DNARzZWMDeW5fbW9zdF9wb3B1bGFyBHNsawN1c2Zhc3Rmb29kY 2E-
U.S. fast food caught in immigration crosshairs

By Lisa Baertlein, Mary Milliken and Ed Stoddard – Mon Feb 7, 5:25 pm ET

LOS ANGELES/DALLAS (Reuters) – Chipotle Mexican Grill has a lot going for it -- an upscale burrito concept, a hip and eco-friendly image, expansion plans galore and a 500 percent-plus stock price gain in just over two years.

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.

Dependence on illegal labor is the elephant in the room for the U.S. restaurant business. And experts say the Chipotle ICE investigations are a wake-up call for an industry that is one of America's biggest employers and generates over $300 billion in annual sales, according to research firm IBISWorld Inc.

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.

At that time, Barack Obama, a proponent of immigration reform to help manage the 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, became president. Also at that time, immigrant hiring by restaurants began to rebound.

Obama has had to walk a fine line on the issue. He must uphold the law and appease Americans resentful of illegal immigrants working as the unemployment rate stubbornly sits at 9 percent. But he needs to do it in a way palatable to Hispanic voters who will be key to his re-election in 2012.

Gone are the days of big raids that snared large numbers of workers, mostly from Mexico and Central America. Under Obama, immigration enforcement agents are cracking down on employers with so-called "I-9 audits" -- I-9 being the employment eligibility verification form.

ICE says that means companies' hiring practices could be subjected to the same degree of scrutiny as their bookkeeping is by the Internal Revenue Service.

"When you get a big name like Chipotle, it stands out and sends a message," said Jacqueline Longnecker, president of Reno-based Employment Verification Resources Inc.

"The onus is on employers now ... It sends the message that nobody is going to be excused from this," she said, adding that many companies -- both large and small -- do not recognize the potential liabilities they now face.

Chipotle believes it has not been singled out.

"ICE has vowed to increase pressure on employers to avoid employing undocumented workers ... We are one of a large and growing number of companies to go through this process," Moran told Reuters by e-mail.

But to date, the majority of audits that have come to light in the restaurant business have been limited to small operators or franchisees of big chains, like Subway.

EMPLOYEE CHURN

The U.S. fast-food industry historically has offered relatively low pay and paltry benefits to legal workers and, as a result, has struggled with high employee turnover.

Longnecker and other experts said restaurant owners are attracted to illegal laborers because they work hard, are loyal and will go the extra mile to hold down a job.

It is hard to know the extent of hiring of illegal immigrants in restaurants. But immigrants -- both legal and illegal -- account for about a quarter of workers in the restaurant and food services industry and their numbers are up in recent years.

Their share fell from 24.5 percent in March 2006 to 21.4 percent in March 2008 -- before and during the recession -- but then recovered to 23.6 percent in March 2009 and March 2010, according to an analysis of the government's Current Population Survey (CPS) data conducted for Reuters by the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank.

The overall number of immigrants employed in the sector climbed from just over 1.7 million in 2008 to 1.8 million in 2010, according to this data, even as native employment fell from 6.4 million to 5.9 million.

The Pew Hispanic Center -- whose demographic and labor market work is highly regarded -- estimated in a 2009 report that 12 percent of the workforce in food preparation and serving in 2008 was undocumented.

Chipotle, which has more than 1,000 restaurants mostly in the United States and plans to open as many as 145 more in 2011, pays its workers more than the average burger flipper but its building binge has stoked its appetite for new hires.

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.

"I thought it was a good company," said Alejandro, who lost his job in December along with 10 of his 20 co-workers. "I was even going to get training to be promoted to kitchen manager."

PROBLEMS WITH PAPERS

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 false documents, which include things such as driver's licenses, Social Security cards and residence permits, are easy to come by "on the street," said Tanya. "Many people offer them. It is part of coming here and trying to make a better life for your children."

But Moran says that Chipotle has "always taken this issue very seriously, and over the last five years we have done a great deal to improve our systems, and our document review capabilities and procedures."

"Certainly this incident has been eye-opening for us and caused us to redouble our efforts to make sure we are doing all we can short of running afoul of the mandate of the Department of Justice," said Moran, adding that Chipotle performs two document reviews for each employee hired, one by the hiring manager and another by its human resources department.

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.

It also differs from other public traded chains in another very important way. Unlike McDonald's Corp and most other restaurant companies, it does not rely on franchisees to own and operate restaurants, which means it might be easier to hold its head office more accountable for infractions.

INVESTOR URGES 'BETTER SYSTEMS'

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.

But Maryland-based Calvert Investments said it was surprised by the extent of Chipotle's undocumented workers because the company scores high on the issues Calvert monitors -- good social, environmental and corporate governance.

"We would urge them to put better systems in place so that the likelihood of this occurring again is slim," said Ellen Kennedy, senior sustainability research analyst at Calvert, which oversees $14.5 billion in assets.

Chipotle, which reports fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday, recognizes it is big deal for its operations.

"This incident has caused a lot of disruption -- both to us and in the lives of so many of our people," said Moran, whose company reported 22,250 employees at the end of 2009. "In addition, it's been a heartbreaking situation for us to lose so many excellent employees."

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.

Those are the figures circulating among the Minneapolis legal community, according to Javier Morillo, the president of labor union SEIU Local 26, which does not represent the fast food sector but is helping the workers because of its interest in immigration reform.

The need for reform is where labor and business agree.

"We need those businesses that are being audited to speak up and say to the government this is insanity and it is not solving a thing," said Morillo.

Chipotle's Moran does speak up, saying in his email: "The system clearly isn't working very well as it is, and reform is absolutely necessary."

As for Tanya and Alejandro, they are fairly confident they will get new jobs in restaurants or factories in Minneapolis, but they probably won't get the good salary or long run they had at Chipotle.

(Additional reporting by Herb Lash in New York; Editing by Cynthia Osterman.)

KENTUCKYREDBONE
02-09-2011, 05:06 AM
I say round up the border jumpers and fine the Employer. If it can be proved the employer did not take reasonable precuations to make sure they were at least legal. Then maybe they will hire eithier Americans or those trying to become Americans!

NateR
02-09-2011, 12:18 PM
The unemployment rate in this country is still hovering around 10% and this company is hiring illegal immigrants? I say make an example out of them. Rip that company apart at the seams and hand out mandatory prison sentences to every manager who knew about this and didn't say anything. In other words, make the punishment so severe that no other company would dare violate the law.

I'm tired of this lie that illegal immigrants are "only doing the jobs that Americans won't do." That's nonsense. There is only one group of people who do the job that most Americans refuse to do and that's our US military.

Personally, I think the minimum wage laws are one of the reasons this is happening. We need to reduce the minimum wage in this country to allow companies to hire more employees and make hiring illegal immigrants less attractive.

adamt
02-09-2011, 12:26 PM
the fine needs to be a base punitive price and then add enough to cover all the welfare these illegals recieved while they were here

if they recieved any of course, i don't want to just stereotype and assume

but i would imagine that wic, foodstamps, or medicare was used by some of them to at least help with their families, i just doubt a family can live on fast food wages



i agree with nater, even about minimum wage, but i do think that it is a shame people will pay hundreds of dollars on sports tickets then pay 10 bucks for a hot dog at the game and then want their food to be as cheap as possible for everyday living


i don't get it, food has to be as cheap as possible. and their entertainment has to be as expensive as possible

it really is bass ackwards

Spiritwalker
02-09-2011, 12:42 PM
The unemployment rate in this country is still hovering around 10% and this company is hiring illegal immigrants? I say make an example out of them. Rip that company apart at the seams and hand out mandatory prison sentences to every manager who knew about this and didn't say anything. In other words, make the punishment so severe that no other company would dare violate the law..


NateR in 2012!!!


I'm tired of this lie that illegal immigrants are "only doing the jobs that Americans won't do." That's nonsense. There is only one group of people who do the job that most Americans refuse to do and that's our US military...

I don't know about that one.. for example, there is this guy (just turned 18) at my dojo.. out of school.. and looking for work..he can't find work in what he wants to do.. welding.. so he keeps his lazy butt at home in front of the TV.. I go and hook him up with a shoe-in job interview.. loading trucks at 17.00 a hour.. not the most fun work.. lifting and such... and what does he do.. pulls a no show..

"Why didn't you go??? The job was yours unless you went in there filthy and with your finger in your nose!!"...

"I don't want to load trucks"... Exactly what he told me..

"You know you made me look pretty bad.. you could have called me to tell me."

[shrugs] "sorry"

"I hope you can find someone else to help you get a job"....

and then he actually says.....

"Don't worry, I will find something"



Personally, I think the minimum wage laws are one of the reasons this is happening. We need to reduce the minimum wage in this country to allow companies to hire more employees and make hiring illegal immigrants less attractive.

a lower min wage.. allows for more employees? I don't follow that...

make hiring illegals very costly.. when they get caught. Say a fine of the total amount of wages, times the amount of time worked.. abd add to that.. the total of the person that wasn't working there legally.. so double...

then take that dollar amount.. and change it to hours.. that's home much time the hiring manager will serve.

NateR
02-09-2011, 01:11 PM
a lower min wage.. allows for more employees? I don't follow that...

Think about it in terms of small businesses. Let's say I run a small shop on main street here in Hillsboro. I make pretty good money, but with business expenses, rent, etc. I can only afford to hire 3 full-time employees at $5 an hour to help me. So I'm paying out $15 an hour, for a total of 120 hours a week, adding up to $1800 per week (before taxes, Social Security, etc) in wages. Now let's say the State of Illinois decides that $5 an hour is simply not enough to live off of, so they raise the minimum wage to $7 an hour. Well, I'm not getting any more than the usual business, so the money coming into the store stays the same. Plus, my rent and other business expenses haven't changed at all. Thus, I can still only afford to pay out $1800 a week in wages. So what do I do? I can cut back the number of hours that my employees work or I will have to lay off one employee. Both options reduce the manpower of my store and make it difficult to maintain the same profitability that I had with 3 full-time employees. Which can lead to even more cutbacks on hours and possibly even more lay offs.

(BTW, these aren't the actual Illinois minimum wage numbers, I just picked number that would make for easy math.)

So an arbitrary increase in the minimum wage really does nothing but make it tougher for small businesses to succeed and it could even increase the unemployment rate.

Well, you say "That's just small businesses, it doesn't really affect the big corporations." However small businesses are more important to the US economy than most people think. Small businesses:
• Represent 99.7 percent of all employer firms.
• Employ just over half of all private sector employees.
• Pay 44 percent of total U.S. private payroll.
• Have generated 64 percent of net new jobs over the past 15 years.
• Create more than half of the nonfarm private gross domestic product (GDP).
• Hire 40 percent of high tech workers (such as scientists, engineers, and computer programmers).
• Are 52 percent home-based and 2 percent franchises.
• Made up 97.3 percent of all identified exporters and produced 30.2 percent of the known export value in FY 2007.
• Produce 13 times more patents per employee than large patenting firms; these patents are twice as likely as large firm patents to be among the one percent most cited.

http://www.sba.gov/advocacy/7495/8420

Llamafighter
02-09-2011, 01:47 PM
I say shut down the businesses employing illegals and you can kill two birds with one stone. Even if you don't shut down the businesses. Since the majority of unemployed Americans feel they are "over qualified" to flip burgers or stuff burrittos, these business will close anyways. This will take big strides in reducing obesity in our country too.

This sucks because I really like Chipotle

Spiritwalker
02-09-2011, 01:50 PM
Think about it in terms of small businesses. Let's say.............(BTW, these aren't the actual Illinois minimum wage numbers, I just picked number that would make for easy math.)

ok, I can follow that when you are talking about some types of jobs.. but when you have a lower min wage.. that is too far below the cost of living.. you have no employees, cause they will go else where.. maybe even working 100% harder jobs for 10% higher wages.. just to make their own ends meent.


So an arbitrary increase in the minimum wage really does nothing but make it tougher for small businesses to succeed and it could even increase the unemployment rate.

Well, you say "That's just small businesses, it doesn't really affect the big corporations." However small businesses are more important to the US

Would never say "that's just small businesses.. I total agree that small business is the blood of this country.. that's why I do my best to support them.. rather than a large corp .. when I can :(

VCURamFan
02-09-2011, 02:27 PM
The story gets even better:

Chipotle Workers Fired over Immigration Status Sue for Backpay


Two former employees of Chipotle Mexican Grill (http://www.foxnews.com/topics/chipotle-mexican-grill.htm#r_src=ramp) restaurants in Minnesota have filed a lawsuit claiming that the chain failed to pay them wages in a timely fashion.
The workers, who were among hundreds who were fired by the Chipotle chain after an immigration audit raised questions about their immigration status (http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2011/02/08/chipotle-facing-new-immigration-audits-weighs-expanding-use-federal-database/), are seeking class action status.
The lawsuit says that Chipotle did not comply with Minnesota state law when it did not immediately give them their earned compensation upon their dismissal.
The workers are identified in the lawsuit, filed in Hennepin County Court, as Tanya Cortes and Alejandro Juárez, according to the Pioneer Press.
Chipotle’s communications director, Chris Arnold, denied the accusations.
“That simply isn’t true,” he said. “We paid everyone everything they were owed, including wages, accrued vacation and bonuses."
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, audited Chipotle’s Minnesota restaurants last year. ICE told the chain that the audit turned up questionable information in the documents Chipotle had provided, apparently indicating many employees were not authorized to work in the United States.
Chipotle fired hundreds of Minnesota employees when, the chain says, the workers could not explain discrepancies that the ICE audit had found.
“We’ll be looking to improve our policies and procedures for how we verify employee status,” Arnold said, “and will be looking to put all this behind us.”
Seriously? You're paying illegal workers bonuses & vacation? :banghead:

rockdawg21
02-09-2011, 02:30 PM
The story gets even better:

Chipotle Workers Fired over Immigration Status Sue for Backpay

Seriously? You're paying illegal workers bonuses & vacation? :banghead:
Yeah, aren't they already on vacation when they cross the border?

Spiritwalker
02-09-2011, 03:13 PM
The story gets even better:

Chipotle Workers Fired over Immigration Status Sue for Backpay

Seriously? You're paying illegal workers bonuses & vacation? :banghead:



well.. if they didn't know they were illegals....

adamt
02-09-2011, 03:46 PM
those workers need to be sued for any american resources they took advantage of, like school, roads, police, medical, etc.....

rockdawg21
02-09-2011, 04:58 PM
those workers need to be sued for any american resources they took advantage of, like school, roads, police, medical, etc.....
Good point!

Recently, we had one of our state senators send out a questionnaire asking how the state could raise additional funding. I suggested charging internationals a fee for the privilege of driving on our roads. Currently, any foreign automobile can come to TX, drive on our roads, and not have to pay a fee for the wear & tear on our roads. With thousands of people driving across the border in TX each day, even a simple 50 cent fee would raise millions to help pay for our roads.

rearnakedchoke
02-09-2011, 05:28 PM
those workers need to be sued for any american resources they took advantage of, like school, roads, police, medical, etc.....

well, if they were getting bonuses and vacation, they were probably getting taxes deducted .. LOL .. this is so crazy that it's actually funny ...

KENTUCKYREDBONE
02-09-2011, 06:19 PM
[QUOTE=Spiritwalker;151487]NateR in 2012!!!



I don't know about that one.. for example, there is this guy (just turned 18) at my dojo.. out of school.. and looking for work..he can't find work in what he wants to do.. welding.. so he keeps his lazy butt at home in front of the TV.. I go and hook him up with a shoe-in job interview.. loading trucks at 17.00 a hour.. not the most fun work.. lifting and such... and what does he do.. pulls a no show..

"Why didn't you go??? The job was yours unless you went in there filthy and with your finger in your nose!!"...

"I don't want to load trucks"... Exactly what he told me..

"You know you made me look pretty bad.. you could have called me to tell me."

[shrugs] "sorry"

"I hope you can find someone else to help you get a job"....

and then he actually says.....

"Don't worry, I will find something"

Around here thats considered good pay! Actually if thats starting pay it would be excellant pay! I used to unload truck's for less so if I could get payed that around here for eithier loading or unloading I'd show up and give it my best shot. You would see a fat 38 yo man sweating his hind end off for that kind of money! Poeple like you descibed disgust me!

Spiritwalker
02-09-2011, 06:56 PM
[QUOTE=KENTUCKYREDBONE;151549 Around here thats considered good pay! Actually if thats starting pay it would be excellant pay! I used to unload truck's for less so if I could get payed that around here for eithier loading or unloading I'd show up and give it my best shot. You would see a fat 38 yo man sweating his hind end off for that kind of money! Poeple like you descibed disgust me![/QUOTE]


Yeah it really ticked me off.. I just asked a buddy for a favor.. and he was like..."If he is good.. sure".. then he know shows.....I have trained him or helped train him.. from his white belt to his current high brown.. next is his Sempi rank (senior student).. but for our dojo.. you have to have the right mental attitude as well as skill set. He has the skill set.. but his 'tude blows...

rockdawg21
02-09-2011, 07:19 PM
Yeah it really ticked me off.. I just asked a buddy for a favor.. and he was like..."If he is good.. sure".. then he know shows.....I have trained him or helped train him.. from his white belt to his current high brown.. next is his Sempi rank (senior student).. but for our dojo.. you have to have the right mental attitude as well as skill set. He has the skill set.. but his 'tude blows...
Petition for him to be denied his black belt AFTER he takes the test. Give him a taste of his own medicine.

Spiritwalker
02-09-2011, 07:27 PM
Petition for him to be denied his black belt AFTER he takes the test. Give him a taste of his own medicine.

heh.. that would be VERY wrong.. hmmmmm....

I have actually seen 3 people not pass a test.. 4 including me... I was just having total brain lock. I failed my high brown cause I couldn't get my feet right... ohh.. talk about depressing....

rockdawg21
02-09-2011, 07:34 PM
heh.. that would be VERY wrong.. hmmmmm....

I have actually seen 3 people not pass a test.. 4 including me... I was just having total brain lock. I failed my high brown cause I couldn't get my feet right... ohh.. talk about depressing....
Wrong, as in, what he did to your reputation with your boss/company? :wink:

Sucks to hear that. Not sure how physically demanding your test was but brain activity lessens as the heart rate reaches its' max. That's why if you have extreme physical challenges, it'd be a good idea to get used to training at and increasing your max heart rate for several minutes at a time.

Spiritwalker
02-10-2011, 01:10 AM
Wrong, as in, what he did to your reputation with your boss/company? :wink:

not my company.. I work for a cable TV company in IT security.. :)

Sucks to hear that. Not sure how physically demanding your test was but brain activity lessens as the heart rate reaches its' max. That's why if you have extreme physical challenges, it'd be a good idea to get used to training at and increasing your max heart rate for several minutes at a time.

Yeah man.. it was bad.. but totally my fault.. I spanked my black belt test..well.. I did very well...

Buzzard
02-10-2011, 07:42 PM
Good point!

Recently, we had one of our state senators send out a questionnaire asking how the state could raise additional funding. I suggested charging internationals a fee for the privilege of driving on our roads. Currently, any foreign automobile can come to TX, drive on our roads, and not have to pay a fee for the wear & tear on our roads. With thousands of people driving across the border in TX each day, even a simple 50 cent fee would raise millions to help pay for our roads.

Don't they pay taxes when fueling in Texas? Does the fuel tax help pay for road maintenance? Not trying to argue, just wondering. Ok, trying to argue a little bit.:laugh:

rockdawg21
02-10-2011, 08:35 PM
Don't they pay taxes when fueling in Texas? Does the fuel tax help pay for road maintenance? Not trying to argue, just wondering. Ok, trying to argue a little bit.:laugh:
LOL, good points. I'm sure some of the gas purchased here pays for that. However, he asked for suggestions and I don't see anything wrong with people from, even outside of the state, paying for the privileges of using our roads. Kansas has the Turnpike and the roads there are ALWAYS maintained nicely. I love driving through Kansas.