CATOOSA, Okla. (KTUL) — A dozen workers at a Catoosa restaurant are without a job today after getting fired for skipping work as a show of support for “A Day Without Immigrants.”
The restaurant workers are all Hispanic and they say it was important to them to participate in the national protest.
But they didn’t think it would cost them their jobs.
“They feel like they’ve been unfairly terminated,” said a friend, translating for the employees.
The group worked at “I Don’t Care” Bar and Grill in Catoosa.
They talked to us after they were fired for not showing up to work.
They asked us to not show their faces or give their names.
“(They’ve) been working there for almost two years since the restaurant opened,” said the friend.
The group willingly chose to stay home with others across the country supporting “A Day Without Immigrants.”
“(They’re) upset they stood for something they felt was necessary so the community would stand together
and they got terminated for that,” said the friend,
The six are a part of a group of 12 kitchen staff let go.
The owner fired them by 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.”
— Ethan Hutchins (@ehutchinsnews) February 17, 2017
The workers aren’t sure what comes next, but they did feel they had 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 the friend.
Restaurant owner Bill McNally gave us a written statement, saying he has a “zero tolerance policy for no show/no call incidents and the 12 employees violated that policy.”
Despite the shock of being fired, the employees say they aren’t mad and they
expected a possible reprimand but they weren’t counting on getting canned.
“They feel like he could’ve done something for them since they’d been working for him,” said the friend.
Friday in a Facebook post the restaurant was shopping for replacement workers.
In the meantime, this group says the’re moving on to other jobs, taking their stance with them.
“Immigrants are important to the nation,” said the friend.
The group says they’ve never had a problem with the owner in the past and wish him the best.
But they say they will continue to stand together in the future.
The owner did share with us he’s fired other employees over the past two years for violating the his “no call/no show” policy.