As noted in these pages, Thursday was a day of solidarity for immigrant workers across the nation, who were urged to walk off the job en masse. This “Day Without Immigrants” was supposed to make a powerful statement about how indispensable immigrants are to our nation. But one Tulsa restaurant made a powerful statement of its own by making the “Day Without Immigrants” a permanent condition in the lives of twelve its employees, who received pink slips when they returned to work Friday.
According to ABC affiliate KTUL, the workers who chose to participate in the walkout are all Hispanic and are now claiming that they were unfairly terminated. But the eatery’s owner, Bill McNally, explained to reporters that he has a “zero tolerance policy for no show/no call incidents and the 12 employees violated that policy.” He added that he has fired other workers the same violation over the past two years, which should have been fair warning to the hapless dozen who — it is now hoped — came away with a valuable lesson about setting priorities.
The workers, who speak only Spanish, say they felt a duty to stand up for immigrants living and working in the U.S. “That was their way to show they are needed in the community,” said a friend who translated. Sounds like another teachable moment.
All of the workers received notice of their termination via text message.
A message to one of the employees reads: “You and your family are fired. I hope you enjoyed your day off, and you can enjoy many more. Love you.”
The name of the restaurant by the way is almost too perfect. It’s the “I Don’t Care” Bar and Grill.