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Fired Chipotle Workers Protest At Local Store

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Workers protest the way they were fired from Chipotle on Wednesday. Many say they are also owed vacation pay and bonuses.
Armando Trull
Workers protest the way they were fired from Chipotle on Wednesday. Many say they are also owed vacation pay and bonuses.

Chanting "Chipotle, listen up, we're not done fighting," several dozen protesters are demanding the fast-food company apologize for the way it fired workers without notice or explanation.

"Why did they do that? Why didn't they warn us before?" Herlinda Mendoza said in Spanish.

Mendoza says she worked at Chipotle for six years, and Chipotle owes her vacation pay and bonuses. Most of the 40 fired workers make similar claims.

There were other voices in the crowd.

"Chipotle didn't miss a beat when they fired these illegal workers because Americans were ready to go right in there and start working immediately," says Leo Alexander, with the group Americans To Work.

When WAMU first reported this story Wednesday afternoon, Chipotle had not yet responded. Chipotle's communications director, Chris Arnold has since emailed a statement.

"We have committed to paying everyone everything they are owed (including wages and accrued vacation) and we have done that," the email says. "If any of these employees does not feel as if they have been paid everything they are owed, they can certainly contact us and we will look into it on a case-by-case basis."

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