News & Politics

More Than 100 Employees Canned After Skipping Work for 'Day Without Immigrants Protest

Citizens stage "A Day Without Immigrants" rally in front of a regional government building in Washington on Feb. 16, 2017, opposing U.S. President Donald Trump's controversial immigration policies including building a U.S.-Mexico border wall. Around 200 people participated in the rally, with similar protests taking place across the nation. (Kyodo) ==Kyodo

Dozens of employees from across the nation were fired for skipping work last week for the “Day Without Immigrants” protest.

Thousands of immigrants working in the restaurant, hotel, child care, and construction industries across the United States stayed home from work and school Thursday to demonstrate how important they are to America’s economy.

Some employers, it turns out, decided to demonstrate to these employees that they are not so important to their businesses that they can get away with skipping work.

Via The Hill:

Employees working at restaurants and day cares in New York, Florida, Tennessee and Oklahoma, among other states, were fired after they did not show up to work to participate in the demonstration.

The nationwide strike on Thursday was aimed at President Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees. About twenty employees were fired at Bradley Coatings Inc., in Nolensville, Tenn., after participating in the protest. NBC News reported a statement from the company’s attorney said the employees knew they were risking termination by participating in the protest.

“Regretfully, and consistent with its prior communication to all its employees, BCI had no choice but to terminate these individuals. The reason these employees missed work — to engage in peaceful demonstrations — had nothing to do with BCI’s decision to terminate them,” attorney Robert Peal wrote in a statement.

Twenty-five workers at Ben’s Kosher Delicatessen Restaurant & Caterers in Long Island, N.Y., were fired as well. There, police escorted the workers from the restaurant after they returned from the protests.

According to Fox News, twelve Latino employees from the I Don’t Care Bar and Grill in Tulsa, Okla., were fired after they didn’t show up for their shift and failed to let their employers know about their absence. The employees told Fox 23 that they expected to be reprimanded, but not dismissed. Turns out the management at the “I Don’t Care Bar and Grill” did care.

Predictably, the firings led to “an outcry in the community.”

“If you have twelve people who feel strongly and want to make a stand, I think management should have taken a look at that and at least stood by them or give them some time,” Catherine Bishop, of Broken Arrow, told Fox 23 News.

https://youtu.be/XGJylRqwHMA

Encore Boat Builders LLC, based out of Lexington, S.C., had 21 workers who didn’t show up for work Thursday. WLTX-TV reported they were told not to participate in the demonstrations or face termination and when they failed to show up, the company followed through on its threat.

https://youtu.be/eUG8oZP1Xyo

Six staff members at a Bonita Springs, Fla. daycare quit, Rev. Jeremy Walker, who runs the day care, told NBC 2. However, two workers said they were fired for wanting to join the protest, while four others claim they resigned after the others two were fired.

In Colorado, 30 bricklayers were fired after they didn’t show up for work. Jim Serowski, the founder of  JVS Masonry in Commerce City, Colorado, said: “If you’re going to stand up for what you believe in you have to be willing to pay the price.”

As promised, when his foreman and some 30 brick layers failed to show up for work he fired them all with no regrets, he said.

He insisted it had nothing to do with politics and everything to do with business.

“I stand by what I believe in. I didn’t do anything wrong,” he said in a phone interview Sunday.

“They were warned, ‘if you do this you’re hurting the company, and if you go against the team you’re not a member of the team.'”

The bottom line is that the owner of any business where employees refuse to show up for work has the right to fire said employees, and anyone who says otherwise is blowing smoke.

The stories that have hit the news may only reflect a tip of the iceberg. There may well have been hundreds of firings as a result of the strike last week.