Work Scaled Back, One Restaurant Closes On "Day Without Immigrants" - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

5/1/06-Tyler

Work Scaled Back, One Restaurant Closes On "Day Without Immigrants"

Those protesting say they wanted to make an impact, and for some East Texas businesses, they did.  Some businesses have had to bring in extra staff, or just do the days work more slowly, and one restaurant location was forced to shut down.

The pressing and folding continues, but with fewer workers at the Dry Clean Supercenter in Tyler.

Owner Tabor Campbell: "I wish that on Friday, they had said 'Hey, we're not going to be here on Monday.'"

Three of Tabor Campbell's workers called in sick, for exact reasons unknown. He's filling in, too.

"Everyone's kind of shifted around, and we're making it work," he says.

Roofing contractor Darrin Cable of Cable's Construction says he had a conversation with several workers last week.

"On Friday, we were finishing up work and [one worker] said, 'You know what Monday is?'"

"I said, 'What does Monday mean?' and he said, 'Monday means no Mexicans.'"

Cable says his workers are loyal and showed up, but he felt compelled to snap back the hard line when the comment was made.

"I said, 'I hope everybody who misses Monday is going to have a job on Tuesday.'"

There was no Monday lunch rush at El Charro #1 in Tyler.

"Nobody asked [whether workers would be absent], and I guessed we took it for granted because we are of Spanish descent ourselves," says owner Gus Ramirez.

So many were out, he could only open his second location at Fifth and the Loop.

"I was just thinking that out of respect [workers would show up], that we need to respect this community, and not do that," he added.

At a business started by an immigrant from Mexico, Ramirez admits some of those fighting for workers rights today might be looking for work tomorrow.

"We're still thinking about what we're going to do.  You say you're not going to do anything, but when it affects your business -- we're talking business now -- when it affects your business, you have to do the right thing," he says.

Sunday night, we told you about Tradition's Restaurant in Tyler. Workers there told owner Robert Owens they wouldn't be in on Monday, but he says today some of those workers showed up anyway. He says it was due to employee loyalty.

He had already brought additional staff in on their day off.

Reported by Morgan Palmer. morganpalmer@kltv.com

 

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