Not even a taco

Nine years ago, Winnie Shilson stopped a bullet for Taco Bell. Last Friday, the company that owns Minnesota’s Taco Bell restaurants emptied the other barrel.

It fired her.

Shilson will be 64 next month, and her story may illustrate how a fast-food society treats workers, especially its most experienced ones. After 30 years working for Taco Bell and the chains that preceded it, Shilson was fired Friday as manager of the Edina Taco Bell, dismissed without severance pay or medical benefits.

“Not even a taco,” says her husband, Doug. “They didn’t give her a thing.”

Shilson believes she was the oldest Taco Bell store manager employed by Border Foods Inc., a Golden Valley-based firm that owns 175 Taco Bell, Pizza Hut, KFC and other eateries. Her firing followed a highly praised 30-year career that crashed and burned after two recent failed performance reviews.

Star Tribune