DENVER — Dozens of people said they were fired for taking part in a protest in Denver during Thursday’s “A Day without Immigrants” movement.
The protests closed restaurants, shops and jobs sites across the country.
The moment was an effort to show the Trump administration how much immigrants contribute to the country’s economy. Many skipped work and vowed not to spend any money that day.
Now, dozens of local masonry workers say they are without a job.
It was a day meant to unite, but on a job site in Denver, Thursday’s “A Day without Immigrants” movement instead ripped apart a company and at least 30 of its workers.
Ray was the foreman of two crews working for JVS Masonry. He said when he told his boss his crews would be missing work to support the cause of immigration, he was told they would be fired.
“You stand for what you believe, make sure you stand for whatever consequences are going to come. … He said whoever took the day off today can find another job tomorrow,” Ray read from the texts on his phone, sent by his boss, Jim Serowski, the owner of JVS Masonry.
All of them, he said, were fired for standing up for families.
“The guys that we have out here that have families that are afraid to go out and get a gallon of milk, get gas, going to get groceries in case they get stopped and deported,” he said of why they wanted to take part in the movement.
But family is what the owner of JVS Masonry said he supports.
“If you want to go to work to support your family. I don’t care if you have antennas coming out of your head, I really don’t care. If you’re going to betray the company, then I have a concern,” Serowski said.
Serowski said it comes down to business.
“I have no view on immigration laws or anything going on with that. All I know is I have a business to run,” he said.
Ray said he told his boss the crew would be at work Saturday to make up for the missed day. Serowski said, if they want a job, they need to show up when they are supposed to.
He also said if they want their job back, all they have to do is ask.