Lincoln Park

Caravan Protest at Chicago Taco Bell Calls Attention to Working Conditions

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Workers at a Chicago Taco Bell location held a caravan protest Tuesday to call attention to complaints they’ve made about the working conditions at the restaurant.

Workers at the Lincoln Park restaurant say they have filed at least two public health complaints about conditions they say pose an “imminent danger” after multiple employees tested positive for coronavirus.

“They aren’t taking this seriously at all,” George Williams, who works at the location, said. “The first one that had (coronavirus), she came back in no more than a week at most.”

A large group of cars, occupied by employees and concerned members of the community, held the protest around the restaurant on Tuesday:

Williams works as a dishwasher, and says there is little social distancing that’s done at the restaurant.

“The other workers, they’re like side by side,” he said. “They are close.”

A Taco Bell spokesperson says conditions inside the restaurant are safe, and that they are aware of the protests.  

“We are always listening to feedback from our system and our customers,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “Our goal is to be the safest place to work and eat in Chicago, and all of the cities we operate in.”

Throughout the protest, the restaurant stayed open, with customers coming inside to place their orders and to take away their food.

Although company officials say they are eager to listen to employees, Williams says he expects to be fired because of the protest.

“I haven’t been here, because I’m afraid I’ll take (that virus) home to my kids. I don’t want my kids to have it,” he said.

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