Group of workers fired after attending Day Without Immigrants march
DETROIT (WJBK) - They were part of a nationwide protest called "A day without immigrants."
Immigrant workers marched in metro Detroit to protest President Donald Trump's executive orders on immigration. Now, some of them have been fired from their jobs.
The attorney says the workers did what they did every time they needed to take a day off from work, they texted or spoke to their supervisor, but this time they lost their jobs.
Thousands of protesters took to the streets to battle workers’ rights on this May Day, a group of immigrants is fighting a battle on their own.
"If we don't speak up now, and we don't work together now who knows if we will ever have a chance to," said attorney Tony Paris of the Sugar Law Center. "And who knows whether the rights we do have, will ever being enforced. I am lucky to be their attorney."
Paris is representing the group of mostly Hispanic women - who claim they were fired from EZ Industrial Solutions in Chesterfield Township for attending the "Day Without Immigrants" protest back in February.
Paris says 20 employees, some who requested the day off, decided to march or not show up for work that day. some were told they could be suspended. But when they returned to work, they learned they were fired.
"The motivation was we have to nip this in the bud before it gets too big," Paris said. "We have a lot of immigrant workers here, and if they think they can cert together for their mutual aid and protection and they can miss work, we have to let them know they would be terminated for that."
Paris claims the workers, who are here legally were interrogated, terminated and even threatened to be reported to immigration authorities for attending the immigration protest.
On behalf of the workers - Paris filed a three charge complaint with the National Labor Relations Board challenging the firings. A decision is pending.
In the meantime EZ Industrial Solutions Attorney Robert Boonin said there is no discrimination. He says when two-thirds of your workforce doesn't show up for work - the company has a right to fire them.
All of this happened as the US strengthens immigration enforcement and while many of the people are continuing to protest international workers’ rights today.
"It has survived and it is going to go to Washington D.C.," Paris said. "Hopefully the employer makes some neutral rules or has these women get their jobs back or pay them have been off."