In Denver this past week, CIW allies paid a visit to several area Chipotle restaurants, bringing the battle for Fair Food to the rapidly-growing restaurant company’s doorstep. Chipotle, the boutique fast-food chain majority-owned and controlled by McDonald’s, is headquartered in Denver and prides itself on what it likes to call “Food with Integrity” — food produced with meticulous attention to animal rights and food safety concerns.
It seems, however, that Chipotle’s definition of “Integrity” doesn’t include the notion of human rights — or at least not the right to a fair wage, the right to overtime pay, the right to organize, or the right to basic benefits like health insurance, sick leave, paid vacation, or pension. That’s why Denver Fair Food activists gathered at Chipotle’s restaurants, so that they could talk with the company’s customers about the sweatshop conditions in the fields where Chipotle buys its tomatoes and what they could do as consumers to help protect the rights of the farmworkers who harvest their food. [You too can let Chipotle executives know that you support the CIW's campaign to end sweatshops in the fields -- click here to learn how you can send an email to Chipotle's CEO Steve Ells today!]
Following a full day of flyering (above, right), the Denver allies ended the day with a visit to Chipotle’s corporate headquarters (and its attractive lobby, left), where they met with a company representative, presented him with a copy of the McD’s manager’s letter, and opened a dialogue — which will surely continue in the coming months — on the issue of farm labor conditions in Florida’s tomato fields. Thanks to everyone in Denver for the great day of action, and keep the photos coming!