The “Day Without Immigrants” protest demanding amnesty, lax immigration enforcement, and cheap labor practices fizzled in most U.S. cities, and now many demonstrators have lost their jobs for skipping work.
NBC News reports at least 100 workers lost their jobs at different restaurants and businesses after the February 16 protest.
Migrants who advocated for the wage-suppressing, cheap labor policies allowing them to work in the U.S. found themselves rapidly replaced by new workers. One business, the I Don’t Care Bar and Grill in Catoosa, Oklahoma, fired several workers by text message: “You and your family are fired. I hope you enjoyed your day off, and you can enjoy many more. Love you.” The next day, the restaurant posted an announcement looking for new workers on Facebook.
The migrant workers say they felt their firings were unfair, but the owner had a long-standing “no call/no show” policy.
Another 18 employees working at Bradley Coatings in Tennessee told their bosses they were skipping work to protest in a “Day Without Immigrants” demonstration. The business promptly fired them for missing work.
“I would tell him he was unfair, after working for them for so many years, giving him our best,” one migrant worker told KTNV. “They could not understand that it was just one day. We were going to make up that day on a Sunday, but they didn’t understand that, and it was not the best way. They didn’t give us an opportunity and just told us we were fired.”
Many protesters in the “Day Without Immigrants” marches waved foreign flags to emphasize they were loyal to countries whose main export was cheap labor–with costs inflicted on taxpayers and profits awarded to employers.