On February 16, thousands of people took the day off work to join in a country-wide protest dubbed “A Day without Immigrants.” In Denver, these protests brought about the closing of job sites, restaurants, and other businesses, as it did in other cities. While the day was intended to protest against President Trump's immigration policies and demonstrate the economic contributions immigrants make, it backfired for some working people in the Mile High City. According to local reports, dozens of bricklayers were fired when they failed to show up for work because of their participation in the rally.
Employees of JVS Masonry were told that they would be fired if they failed to show up for work. A job foreman, “Ray,” told Fox 31 TV news that the owner of the firm, Jim Serowski, made clear his policy in texts sent by cellphone. Ray read the texts: “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 said that his co-workers are afraid for their families or to go shopping out of fear of being deported and were thus prompted to join in the day without work. The station reported that JVS Masonry owner Serowski said that he has no view as to “immigration laws or anything going on with that. All I know is I have a business to run.” But if the workers want their jobs back, Serowski said they have to ask.
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