The timing of the firings at the rural Virginia winery, 11 months after the company began purging the ranks of undocumented greenskeepers and cooks at Trump golf courses, came during the vineyard’s winter downtime. Workers had finished the arduous annual grape harvest, which involved working 60-hour weeks and overnight shifts under floodlights.
Two of the fired workers — Omar Miranda, a 42-year-old tractor driver from Honduras, and a second employee who spoke on the condition of anonymity — said they thought the company had held off on firing them until after the year’s work was complete, taking advantage of their labor for as long as possible. Both had worked at the winery for more than a decade.
“They didn’t make this decision in the summer because they needed us a lot then,” Miranda said.
“I think they wanted to get their product out well, the grapes, to make sure that was taken care of, and once things were slow, they could fire us all,” the second employee said.