Impact Of Boycott On Local Restaurant

Immigrants throughout the country plan to boycott work, school and shopping tomorrow to show their impact on the U.S. economy. Organizers are calling it "A Day Without an Immigrant." So, what kind of effect will it have locally? One business owner in Tyler expects up to 70 percent of his work force to be out tomorrow.

Sunday is a busy day at Traditions Restaurant in Tyler. The after-church line wraps around the restaurant, while the staff works quickly to help them everyone.  "They're working everyday. They're here everyday. They don't miss work. They're very loyal. Just good, hard-working people," said Traditions owner, Robert Owens.

Many of the restaurant employees are documented immigrants, who took part in the immigration rally several weeks ago. Many say they're skipping work again tomorrow as part of the national protest. "They want to show an impact. They want to show to employers, and to the public, that they count," said Owens.

He says, as an employer, he's not happy so many workers are walking out on him tomorrow. But as a man who's come to know those workers, he can't help but feel empathy for them. "There's not very many of my friends that would come in, and wash pots, and pans, and dishes, and bus tables. But they will, with loyalty and with dedication," Owens said.

Traditions will remain open tomorrow, thanks to managers and workers who've agreed to pick up the slack. Owens says if the protest went on any longer than that, his business would be in real trouble.

Lindsay Wilcox reporting,