A week ago, many people participated in what was called “Day Without Immigrants” – a nationwide protest aimed at highlighting the importance of immigrants to the U.S. economy. Organizers called on all immigrants to not work or buy anything for the day.
Some news articles reported the protest succeeded in shutting down businesses across the country. Many businesses affected by the no-show protesters were small-business owners like you and me.
So now we learn that some of those who chose to participate are paying a price. News articles giving a post-protest update report how some protesters lost their jobs. One news article included in its title that “dozens lose jobs over immigrant protest,” and then gave examples of employers who told their employees who missed work, “Adios.”
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Some fired employees were interviewed by a local television station and commented that while they expected to be reprimanded for missing work, they didn’t expect to be fired.
Now they know, and rightfully so, not to mess with a business person who has a job to do serving clients and customers expecting excellent delivery of goods and services with no questions asked. That’s American capitalism at its finest, and nobody should put vinegar in the gasoline tank of its engine.
A janitor I know who cleans offices first told me about this protest two days before it took place. I asked Carlos if he was going to participate and he said no, because if he didn’t work he wouldn’t get paid and might get fired. Carlos is a wise man.
Some food and beverage establishment owners, trying to exhibit solidarity with the immigrant protesters, closed their businesses on the protest day. Honestly, I think they had no choice because they would have been understaffed. And I also think their solidarity has at its source a desire to keep their cheap source of labor.
This small-business owner salutes those business owners who taught the fired protesters a valuable lesson that if you play you must pay.
This business owner would have done the same.
Edward Joseph Pierini Jr. is a CPA in private practice in Sacramento. He is a fourth-generation native of Sacramento and a fourth-generation Sacramento small-business owner who doesn’t get paid if he doesn’t show up and work. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org