Metro-East News

Illinois bakery that makes McDonald’s buns loses 800 workers in immigration raid

A Chicago bakery that makes buns for McDonald’s lost 800 workers — about one-third of its workforce — after an immigration raid and was struggling to replace them.

Aryzta AG CEO Kevin Toland said the company was trying to replace 35 percent of its workers after a raid at Cloverhill Bakery in Chicago, according to Bloomberg News. The Swiss-based company bakes hamburger buns for McDonald’s Corp. and other fast-food chains and supermarkets.

The company now struggles to find enough workers and will have to increase its wages — what Toland called “like having a brand new factory and brand new workforce.”

The workers were hired by a staffing agency, according to company officials, and Aryzta officials were unaware of “the extent of the risk that existed to the business.” They could not verify the workers’ documents during the raid, which occurred in September.

Aryzta’s annual report released in October blamed the raid for a 7 percent drop in income.

Elizabeth Donald: 618-239-2507, @BNDedonald