El Milagro workers 'unlawfully' locked out after walking off job in protest of working conditions

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Workers at two El Milagro production facilities claim they have been unlawfully locked out after walking off the job in Little Village Thursday, as they demand change inside their workplace.

Workers said they have been working under harsh conditions with low pay during the pandemic, and they want to see changes.

"They're not machines, they're people that are simply asking for good wages, good benefits and to be treated with dignity and respect," said one worker.

They said they have been locked out of the company and cannot go back inside for their belongings after they staged a walkout Thursday afternoon.

"Here at the Milagro plant, five people died from this deadly pandemic. They suffered for us, they died for us so that we can eat," said Alderman Michael Rodriguez, 22nd Ward. "The least of which we can do is stand with them and fight for their rights."

An armed security guard was spotted outside the popular tortilla factory Friday morning.

El Milagro released a statement that said:

"El Milagro Tortillas is a family owned business and proud employer in our community. We follow all Federal, State, & Local employment guidelines. We value our staff and pay competitive wages.

The temporary shortage of tortillas is due to the state of conditions within the national supply chain, which is causing shortages of goods and services across the nation. We are currently working to solve production issues in general, by hiring on a daily basis."

Workers said they were forced to report to human resources as they tried to come back to work after walking out.
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