Do you remember that “day without immigrants” protest that we talked about last week? It took place as predicted (and in fact demanded by activist organizers on the left). But in at least one location in Tennessee some of the participants learned a rapid and likely lasting lesson about the intersection of free speech and personal responsibility. Bradley Coatings, Inc. found out at the last minute that their tightly packed customer schedule was going to go up in flames when nearly 20 of their employees announced with roughly 12 hours notice that they would be taking part in the poorly defined protest and not participating in their job assignments. They made good on the threat and their employer responded in pretty much the way you would probably expect. (KTNV)
A total of 18 people were fired from a Tennessee business after joining the nation-wide protest “A Day Without Immigrants.”
The 18 employees at Bradley Coatings, Incorporated in Nolensville, Tennessee told their supervisors on Wednesday they’d be taking part in the nationwide movement. Then, on Thursday, they were told they no longer had jobs.
“We are the team leaders directly under the supervisors and they informed us last night that we could not go back to work and the boss said we were fired,” one employee said.
Is anyone honestly surprised at this turn of events? The employer is operating a business providing painting services in a highly competitive market with a tight schedule to keep. They did not set up shop to run a social justice operation. Their customers doubtless have many options to choose from when seeking such services. Also, it’s not as if the employer did not offer fair warning. Upon being informed that the workers were planning to take the day off, not because of sickness or disaster but simply to take part in this highly misleading media event, management let them know that if they chose to do this they would no longer have a job to return to.
As our colleague Mickey White pointed out at Red State, responsibility is a two-way street.
This is reality. If you don’t show up to work you can get fired. Actions have consequences. Consider this a “teachable moment”.
My favorite part was when the man complained that his boss was being “unfair”. Imagine how the boss must have felt when 20 of his workers didn’t show up to do their jobs on Thursday. Deadlines don’t change because of social justice holidays. They had orders to fill. The same worker referenced his “years” of work for this company, something the man probably should have considered before walking out the door. Doesn’t Bradley Coatings deserve some loyalty if they’ve employed you for years? Instead you leave them unmanned in the middle of the week to prove a point?
As Mickey goes on to say, a day without immigrants is not a day without consequences. But even more to the point, the specific conditions of the now unemployed workers tell a large part of the story which I’m not seeing discussed on cable news. What they probably should have realized and taken into account was the fact that all 18 of them had jobs. That’s because their employer clearly had no problem whatsoever in hiring people without regard to their immigration status. The employer they were punishing was obviously not part of the perceived problem they supposedly wanted to address.
Also, as I attempted to point out when this stunt was first announced, there is a key distinction being ignored in the media coverage of this event which is highly deceptive. There is a huge difference between immigrants and illegal immigrants. Assuming all of the fired workers were of the legal variety, what do they gain by showing solidarity with those who knowingly and intentionally break the law, jump to the head of the line and don’t put in the same effort to immigrate the correct way as they did? Nobody is trying to “crack down” on legal immigrants who come to this country and work for their share of the American dream.
Perhaps these 18 former employees will have sufficient time to reflect on these questions while they seek new jobs.