A bakery in Chicago, Illinois, which makes hamburger buns for McDonald’s, has lost a third of its workforce in a raid by immigration enforcement officers. The company, struggling in the wake of the loss of so many staff members, is being pressured to increase wages to attract replacements who have legal status.
35 percent of the workforce at Cloverhill Bakery, which amounts to around 800 people, had to be replaced, according to Bloomberg News. The business makes baked goods, which are distributed to supermarkets and fast food outlets. The workers are sent to the company by the same job placement agency that faced federal audits earlier in 2017. According to the company’s CEO, Kevin Toland, trying to replace all the workers is a slow and challenging process, reminiscent of setting up a new factory.
The raid has also caused a decline in sales in North America of as much as seven percent, as of the end of the quarter at the close of last month, Toland says. Higher consumer prices are also now expected. The number of immigration arrests in Chicago has increased by around 30 percent, compared to the close of the Obama administration, in the first six months of the Trump administration.
There were 24,884 cases pending in the Chicago Immigration Court as of the spring of 2017, according to the Executive Office for Immigration Review for the Department of Justice. In 2010, the number of pending cases was 13,000.