Immigrants called out of work and didn’t send their children to school on February 16 to protest President Donald Trump’s “Muslim ban” and the growing presence of immigration raids in their communities. While many business owners closed down their shops and restaurants in a show of solidarity, others instead decided to do mass firings.
In Oklahoma, restaurant chain I Don’t Care Bar and Grill let go of 12 Latino workers who took part in the action, reports a local ABC affiliate. Many had been there for two years and weren’t expecting their participation to cost them their jobs. They thought they might face a consequence, but not one so severe. The restaurant owner, Bill McNally, fired them through text message.
In a statement to the local affiliate, McNally wrote that he has a “zero tolerance policy for no show/no call incidents, and the 12 employees violated that policy.”
A commercial painting company in Tennessee laid off 18 employees after notifying them that they’d be fired if they didn’t come to work that day. “The reason these employees missed work—to engage in peaceful demonstrations—had nothing to do with BCI’s decision to terminate them,” said a statement company attorney Robert Peal wrote, according to the local NBC station.
Since news of the firings was made public, supporters of the nationwide strike of immigrant workers and their families rallied to social media to call for boycotts of these businesses and find out how they can help those who are now unemployed. Opponents of the #DayWithoutImmigrants, on the other hand, called the employees’ terminations “karma.”
Is there any way to donate to the families of employees who got fired for participating in #DayWithoutImmigrants?— Renee Gennarelli (@redfox1235) February 20, 2017
XX ✊? (@BoyGorgeous) February 20, 2017
ANGY (@AskAngy) February 20, 2017
What do you think about these employers’ actions? Let Colorlines know in the comments.