On February 16, “A Day Without Immigrants,” thousands of people across the country refused to work and spend money in an effort to protest the Trump administration’s stance on immigration. Many businesses closed for the day because of a shortage in staff, and the strike received national media attention.
The following day, however, over 100 strikers found themselves in a quandary, as their employers informed them that they would no longer be employed.
Take, for example, Bradley Coatings, a commercial painting company in Nolensville, Tenn. All employees were warned the day before the strike that those who failed to work the following day would be terminated, but 18 employees — some of whom reportedly held mid-level positions — joined the nationwide strike anyway.
“Regretfully, and consistent with its prior communication to all its employees,” the company’s attorney Robert Peal said in a statement, Bradley Coatings “had no choice but to terminate these individuals.”
Over in Lexington, S.C., 21 strikers were fired from Encore Boat Builders, a pontoon manufacturer, and in Catoosa, Okla., a dozen employees were fired from a local restaurant, I Don’t Care Bar and Grill. “Restaurant owner Bill McNally said that he has no tolerance for employees who don’t show up for work without notifying their employer,” NBC12 News reported.
In Denver, Colo., dozens of masonry workers were left jobless. For example, employees at JVS Masonry were warned that they would be terminated if they skipped work; as the owner of the company said to one of his employees, “You stand for what you believe, make sure you stand for whatever consequences are going to come.”
Indeed, employees are free to decide for themselves if striking for a day to make their voices heard in Washington, D.C., is worth losing their jobs. But they shouldn’t complain when the consequences catch up with them.