Employees at a Penn State Chipotle location quit yesterday, citing “borderline sweatshop working conditions.” Let’s pause and think about that for a second.
The move forced the restaurant to temporarily shut down.
The State College Chipotle is closed after four managers quit in the last two days. Here’s the sign on the door: pic.twitter.com/yxZJLKbw4f
— Onward State (@OnwardState) September 10, 2014
According to former manager Brian Healy, the Chipotle was “extremely understaffed with no help from its corporate offices. On days when they needed 13-14 workers in the store, they usually had about six to eight, often resulting in workers doing 10-12 hour shifts without any breaks to eat,” reports Onward State, a student newspaper.
Healy continued, “We just felt neglected…Working conditions are heinous.”
Are we the only ones that think citing “sweatshop working conditions” when talking about your job at Chipotle is a bit ridiculous?
In Qatar, some companies confiscate employees’ passports so they cannot leave the country, then subject them to unfair and inhumane working conditions. Thai fishing boats use trafficked slaves (many from Cambodia and Burma), enabling international retailers like Walmart and Costco being to sell you shrimp for cheap.
So, when workers at a Chipotle call their working conditions “heinous,” it’s hard not to do a bit of an eye roll. Still, 10-12 hour shifts with no breaks to eat (especially when there’s so much awesome guacamole around) isn’t okay and shouldn’t be happening. Neither should unlivable wages for fast-food workers, but that’s a whole other story.
Chipotle reopened the location late yesterday.