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Archive for December, 2010

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[UPDATE] Media coverage of the protest from KARE11.com (video), City Pages, Pioneer Press, Denver Post


(Español abajo)

What: Protest against Chipotle’s injustices
Where: In front of Chipotle Mexican Restaurant, 1040 Nicollet Ave (Downtown Minneapolis)
Date: Wedneday, December 22, 2010
Time: 12:30 pm
Who: Workers and ex-workers of Chipotle Mexican Restaurant together with the Center of Workers United in Struggle (CTUL), Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 26, and the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAc)

Starting on December 6, 2010, the Chipotle Mexican Grill company started to carry out over 100 unjustified firings throughout Minnesota of people who have worked for their company for up to 10 years. 80% of the workers in their restaurants are Latinos. Chipotle has around 1,000 stores in the country. They have 46 in Minnesota, and are planning to open 10 more.

On December 22, fired Chipotle workers will protest in front of the Chipotle on Nicollet Avenue in downtown Minneapolis, to demand that the company’s owners meet with the fired workers. The workers want to talk with them about their three demands: that Chipotle tell them the truth about why they are being fired; that they give the workers more time instead of firing people immediately; and that they pay them all the wages, vacation time and holiday bonus that they are owed.

According to Maria, a fired Chipotle worker, “Latino workers have given Chipotle our labor and they’ve become a very well recognized restaurant thanks to us. Now they’re stabbing us in the back and telling us they don’t need us anymore. We are tired of being used like tools when it’s convenient for them and then later being thrown away like garbage.”

Another fired Chipotle worker, Juan, said, “Chipotle claims to serve food with integrity but with us they’ve demonstrated that they don’t have integrity because at this time of year right before Christmas they fire us without any time to look for another job.”

The workers are organizing to seek justice. This protest is part of that campaign. In their campaign, the workers are being accompanied by the Center of Workers United in Struggle (CTUL), Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 26, and the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAc)

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Trabajadores Latinos protestaran el miercoles sus despedidos de Chipotle Mexican Grill

Que: Protesta en contra de las injusticias de Chipotle
Donde: En frente de Chipotle – 1040 Nicollet Ave (Downtown Minneapolis)
Fecha: Miércoles 22 de Diciembre, 2010
Hora: 12:30 pm
Quien: Empleados y Ex-empleados del Restaurante Chipotle juntos con Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL), Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 26, y Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAc)

A partir del 6 de Diciembre del 2010, la compañía Chipotle Mexican Grill empezó a realizar mas de 100 despidos injustificados de personas que han trabajado en la compañía por hasta 10 anos a través de Minnesota. El 80% de estos restaurantes dependen de mano de obra Latina. Los restaurantes Chipotle cuentan con 1,000 tiendas en todo el país, 46 tiendas en Minnesota y 10 mas que están por abrirse.

El 22 de diciembre, empleados despedidos de Chipotle habran protesta en frente del Chipotle en Nicollet en el centro de Minneapolis, para exigir que los dueños de la compañía se reunan con los trabajadores despedidos. Los trabajadores quieren hablar con ellos sobre sus tres demandas: que Chipotle les explica la verdad de porque les despidió; que les da mas tiempo y no les despida gente de forma inmediata; y que les paga todo que les debe de salario, vacaciones y bonos navideño.

De acuerdo a Maria, una ex-empleada de Chipotle: “los trabajadores Latinos le hemos dado a Chipotle nuestra mano de obra y han llegado a ser un restaurante muy reconocido gracias a nosotros, ahora ellos nos dan una puñalada por la espalda y nos dicen que ya no nos necesitan. Los trabajadores ya estamos cansados que nos usen como herramientas que nos usan solo cuando les conviene y luego nos desechan como basura.”

Dice Juan, otro ex-empleado de Chipotle: “Chipotle presume de su comida con integridad pero con esto nos demuestra que de integridad no tiene nada ya que en una fecha como la Navidad nos despiden sin darnos tiempo para buscar otro trabajo”.

Los trabajadores se han organizado para buscar justicia. Esta protesta es parte de su campaña. En su campaña les acompaña las organizaciones Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL), Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 26, y Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAc).

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(English below)

MIRAc expresa solidaridad con los estudiantes en huelga de hambre por el DREAM Act

El Comité por los Derechos de los Inmigrantes en Minnesota (MIRAc) expresa su solidaridad con nuestros hermanos y hermanas valientes que están en huelga de hambre por el DREAM Act.

Los DREAMERS están iluminando el camino hacia adelante. Se han levantado sin miedo para exigir plena igualdad y los derechos humanos que esta sociedad les niega — el derecho de educación, el derecho de trabajo e igualdad.

Estas no son cosas que la gente que tiene el poder le va a dar a la gente solo porque la gente pide. Como dijo el luchador afro-americano en contra de la esclavitud Frederick Douglas, “sin lucha no hay progreso.” Los DREAMERS que están en huelga de hambre han tomado un paso adelante con dignidad y valor, declarando su derecho a la educación.

Los DREAMERS que están en huelga de hambre no están sacrificándose solo para ellos mismos sino que por la comunidad entera.

Los políticos cambian algo solamente cuando se ven forzados por la comunidad unida y en lucha por el cambio. Hace un año los políticos dijeron que no habría ninguna reforma migratoria este año, pero debido a los DREAMERS de MN y a las acciones valientes tomadas por otros DREAMERS alrededor del país, tenemos confianza de que el congreso va a aprobar el DREAM Act, que va a dar la legalización a cientos de miles de jóvenes indocumentados. Ganaremos esta lucha.

Apoyamos a los MN DREAMERS porque están ensenándole al mundo lecciones importantes: (1) es correcto luchar por la libertad (2) el cambio es posible en esta sociedad. (3) el cambio viene cuando la gente común se moviliza y toma acción.

Creemos que ningún ser humano es ilegal. Como dijo Malcolm X, “Declaramos nuestro derecho en este planeta…ser un ser humano, ser respetado como ser humano, recibir los derechos de un ser humano en esta sociedad, en este planeta, en este día, lo cual vamos a llevar a cabo por cualquier método que sea necesario.”

Hasta la victoria siempre!  Venceremos!


MIRAc solidarity statement with students on hunger strike for the DREAM Act

The Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAc) stands in solidarity with our brave brothers and sisters who are on hunger strike for the DREAM Act.

The DREAMERS are showing the way forward — they are standing up fearlessly to demand basic equality and human rights that they are denied in this society — the right to an education, the right to work, basic equality.

These are not things that the powers that be will just hand to people because they ask for them. As the great African-American anti-slavery leader Frederick Douglass said, “without struggle there is no progress.”  The DREAM Act hunger strikers have stepped forward with dignity and courage to declare their right to an education.

The DREAM Act hunger strikers are sacrificing and fighting not just for themselves, but for the whole community.

Politicians only change things when they are forced to do so by the people uniting and struggling for change. A year ago politicians said no immigration reform would happen this year. Because of the hunger strikers here and the bold actions taken by other DREAMERS around the country, we’re confident that Congress will pass the DREAM Act which will give legalization to hundreds of thousands of undocumented youth. We will win this struggle.

We support the MN DREAMERS because they are teaching everyone valuable lessons: (1) fighting for freedom is the right thing to do. (2) change is possible in this society, and (3) change happens when ordinary people mobilize their community and take action.

We believe that no human being is illegal. As Malcolm X said, “We declare our right on this earth…to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.”

Hasta la victoria siempre! We will win!

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UPDATE: Media coverage of the fired Chipotle workers speaking out: City Pages, WCCO TV (includes video), FOX Latino, Fight Back News


Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAc)
651-389-9174 | miracmn@gmail.com | mirac1.wordpress.com

For Immediate Release
December 13, 2010

Fired Latino Chipotle workers to speak out

On Tuesday, December 14 at 3:00 pm, some of the Latino Chipotle workers who have been fired from multiple Chipotle locations over the past week will speak out at a press conference about what has happened to them. They will say what they want to see happen, and will be available to answer questions and speak to the press.

The press conference will be at 3:00 pm on Tuesday, December 14th at Bethany Lutheran Church, 2511 E. Franklin Ave., Minneapolis.

Starting the week of December 6, 2010, dozens of Latino workers at Chipotle restaurant locations throughout Minnesota were fired en masse in what appears to be a coordinated, statewide operation in response to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) I-9 audit.

Latino workers at Chipotle stores including those in St. Cloud, Stillwater, Golden Valley, downtown Minneapolis, Richfield, Grand Avenue, Seven Corners, among others, were fired en masse. Despite repeated attempts by workers to contact the company, Chipotle officials still have not clarified the reason for their actions.

“Firing large numbers of Latino workers right before Christmas is the wrong thing to do. We demand that Chipotle stop this cruel wave of firings, and we demand that ICE stop these I-9 audits that punish workers, not employers,” said Brad Sigal of the Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAc), which is supporting the workers.

According to Niger Arevalo of MIRAc, “With this situation where our brothers and sisters who work at Chipotle are suffering, we say to the immigrant community that we must unite our efforts and demand energetically that the Obama administration stop these electronic raids that they’re carrying out in Minnesota and around the country, which is a repressive measure against the immigrant community.”

MIRAc has called on the public to call Chipotle headquarters in Colorado to ask them to stop these firings, and has also called on people to boycott Chipotle until they stop this wave of firings.

For background on this story, see coverage of the story last week from City Pages, FOX 9 News (includes video), WCCO News (includes video), and the Pioneer Press.

MIRAc is a grassroots immigrant rights organization that works toward legalization for undocumented immigrants and full equality for all regardless of immigration status. MIRAc is currently organizing the No More Deportations campaign which aims to stop ICE’s Criminal Alien Program (CAP) and prevent ICE’s Secure Communities program from being implemented in Minnesota.

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UPDATE: Media coverage of this story from City Pages, FOX 9 News (includes video), WCCO News (includes video), Pioneer Press, Twelve.tv, KSTC-TV Ch. 45, 107.1 MyTalk, Denver Post 12/11/2010, Denver Post 12/10/10, FOX 31 KDVR.com (Denver, CO), SCTimes.com, Fargo-Grand Forks Valley News Live, KVUE.comColorado Springs GazetteNewsTimes.com


December 9, 2010

MIRAc demands that Chipotle stop their cruel pre-Christmas mass firing of Latino workers in MN

Minneapolis, MN – The Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAc) denounces Chipotle restaurant’s cruel mass firing of Latino immigrant workers at their restaurants throughout the Twin Cities this week. We have confirmation that multiple Latino workers have been fired this week at the Chipotle restaurants on Grand Avenue in St. Paul, at Seven Corners and Downtown skyway in Minneapolis, in Golden Valley, in Coon Rapids, Richfield, Stillwater, and Hudson. These are just the cases we have directly confirmed, which in all add up to over 50 workers fired. There are more cases we have heard about but not confirmed. Please contact us if you have information on any other firings.

These mass firings seem to be part of an immigration-related audit, where Latino workers are singled out and fired if they can’t immediately verify their immigration status. The workers fired so far include many long time dedicated workers who have worked at Chipotle for up to 10 years.

According to Brad Sigal of MIRAc, “We denounce Chipotle for acting like immigration agents and attacking their own long-term dedicated workers. This mass firing of Latino workers right before Christmas is unconscionable. We demand that Chipotle immediately stop this cruel wave of firings.”

MIRAc asks people to contact Chipotle management and demand that they stop firing Latino workers in Minnesota. You can contact Chipotle at 303-595-4000 (press ‘0’ to talk to a person) or email mediarelations@chipotle.com.

We also encourage people in Minnesota to boycott Chipotle until these targeted firings of Latino workers stop.

One Chipotle worker at a store that has not yet had any firings this week wondered if the firings were timed so that Chipotle wouldn’t have to pay workers their promised Christmas-season bonus. It is also worth noting that after 3 years workers at Chipotle get vacation time, so this mass firing conveniently removes large numbers of employees with vacation time and replaces them with new workers who get no vacation time.

About MIRAc

The Minnesota Immigrant Rights Action Committee (MIRAc) organizes Latino immigrants and allies to fight for legalization and full equality for all. MIRAc is currently working on the No More Deportations campaign to stop deportations via the criminal justice system in Hennepin County.

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Comité por los Derechos de los Inmigrantes (MIRAc)
9 de Diciembre del 2010
Para su distribución inmediata

Demandamos que Restaurante Chipotle inmediatamente ponga un alto a los despidos masivos de trabajadores Latinos en MN

Minneapolis, MN – El Comité por los Derechos de los Inmigrantes (MIRAc) denuncia al restaurante Chipotle por despedir a muchos trabajadores inmigrantes Latinos en las Ciudades Gemelas esta semana. Tenemos la confirmación de que muchos trabajadores latinos han sido despedidos esta semana de los restaurantes de Chipotle de Avenida Grand en San Pablo, Seven Corners y el skyway en Downtown Minnepapolis, Golden Valley, Coon Rapids, Richfield, Stillwater y Hudson. Estos son solo unos de los casos que han sido confirmados, esto deja un estimado de 50 trabajadores despedidos. Hay más casos de los que hemos escuchado pero no han sido confirmados. Por favor contáctanos si tienes mas información sobre estos despidos.

Estos despidos masivos parecen estar relacionados con una inspección de inmigración, en donde los trabajadores Latinos son seleccionados y posteriormente despedidos al no poder verificar su estatus migratorio. Los inmigrantes despedidos hasta el momento incluyen trabajadores dedicados que han trabajado en Chipotle por más de 10 años.

Dice Brad Sigal de MIRAc, “Denunciamos a Chipotle por actuar como agentes de inmigracion y por lanzar ataques contra sus trabajadores mas dedicados. Estos despidos masivos de trabajadores Latinos previos a Navidad son despreciables. Hay que demandar a Chipotle para que inmediatamente detenga estos despidos masivos.”

MIRAc le pide a la gente hacer llamadas a la oficina de Chipotle y decirles que dejen de despedir a los inmigrantes Latinos. Se puede contactar los dueños de Chipotle en el numero es 303-595-4000 (apreta ‘0’ para hablar con una persona) o email mediarelations@chipotle.com. También hacemos un llamado a la gente de Minnesota para boicotear a Chipotle hasta que dejen de despedir a los trabajadores inmigrantes Latinos.

Un trabajador en un restaurante en el cual aun no han despedido a nadie piensa que los despidos podrían ser parte de una estrategia para evitar pagar a los trabajadores los bonos de temporada navideña. También vale la pena notar que a los tres años los trabajadores en Chipotle califican para vacaciones, así que estos despidos masivos convenientemente quitan a muchos empleados con vacaciones y los remplazan con trabajadores para no pagarles vacaciones.

Sobre MIRAc

El Comité por los Derechos de los Inmigrantes (MIRAc) organiza la comunidad Latina e inmigrante con sus aliados para luchar por la legalización y los derechos iguales para todos. MIRAc acutalmente está organizando la campaña No Mas Deportaciones para intentar parar a las deportaciones a través del sistema de justicia criminal en el condado Hennepin.

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(Español abajo)

Sat, Dec. 4 – 1:00 pm – No More Deportations in MN campaign meeting
Join us in the new campaign to stop deportations in Minnesota — the No More Deportations campaign

Day: Saturday, December 4
Time: 1:00 pm
Place: Walker Church
31st Street & 16th Ave, Minneapolis
(a block south & east of Bloomington & Lake)

MIRAc invites the Latino community and all allies to participate in the next meeting of the new campaign, No More Deportations. We will be focusing on stopping Hennepin County from participating in deportation programs such as “Secure Communities” and the “Criminal Alien Program”. Join us!

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Sabado, 4 de diciembre – 1 pm – Reunion de la nueva campana No Mas Deportaciones
Ven y participa en el desarrollo de la campaña No Mas Deportaciones

Dia: Sabado 4 de diciembre
Hora: 1:00 pm
Lugar: Iglesia Walker
31 Street y 16 Avenue, Minneapolis
(una calle al sur y al este de Bloomington y Lake)

El Comité por los Derechos de los Inmigrantes MIRAc invita a la comunidad latina y aliados a participar  en una reunión para discutir  y lanzar una nueva campaña de no más deportaciones. El enfoque de la campana es parar los programas de deportación como “Secure Communities” y “Criminal Alien Program” en el Condado Hennepin.

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