Plavecsky's Ponderings By Jim Plavecsky
by Jim Plavecsky
February 22nd, 2017

Immigrants Day Protest: What Did It Accomplish?

While traveling and making business calls last week, many of my door and window customers were talking about and dealing with the Day Without Immigrants protest. In the Ohio Valley region, immigrants make up a fair portion of the workforce, from five percent all the way up to 50 percent in some instances. I spend a good deal of time on the factory floors of various door and window companies, and I can tell you that immigrants have a very strong work ethic. They are very good workers, seldom complain and very reliable. So as far as their employers are concerned, they are a great asset to our American factories, especially given the challenges that most door and window plants face when it comes to maintaining a reliable and stable workforce.

The quality that I love about these folks is that they truly appreciate the opportunity to work and to provide for their families. Perhaps it is because they were born into a life where there was very little opportunity, so they do not take a good-paying job for granted. They show up every day on time and work very hard at jobs that others may consider repetitive and boring. But immigrants seem to take on these tasks with a rhythm and take great pride in doing a consistent and thorough job. The people they are displacing at these jobs are often those born in this country who’ve had many things handed to them, and therefore they don’t appreciate the opportunities these jobs provide.  The “entitled” feel they deserve something more exciting, and many are content to stay at home collecting an unemployment or welfare check until a more entertaining job presents itself.

So as I visited door and window factories last Thursday and heard that the immigrants had walked off the job for a day in order to prove they are valuable, I was surprised and befuddled. Why put your employer in a jam to prove your worth to the organization when you are already considered a very valuable asset to that organization? You are risking everything to prove what has already been proven.

As a result of this protest, I have seen some of my customers put into a situation where they had to take disciplinary action that resulted in suspensions and subsequent loss of people who were otherwise considered to be outstanding workers. The immigrants wanted to participate in this national protest, but their employers have a window factory to run. Allowing insubordination sets a dangerous precedent for other employees while putting the company at risk of losing customers if shipments are not sent out in a timely manner. So some employers had to choose between giving up a dangerous amount of leverage to employees and disappointing customers in the process vs. losing a group of highly valued employees with a considerable amount of experience who otherwise represent a great asset to the organization.

So what did the Day Without Immigrants protest really accomplish?

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  1. This is a perfect example of what happens when emotion trumps reason. First, the protest was built on a false premise, as a way of continuing the resistance to the peaceful transition of power which is the hallmark of our country. When President Trump campaigned on protecting America’s borders against illegal immigration, the concept was distorted by his adversaries, and redefined as being against ALL illegals.

    Unfortunately, those who read only the headlines, and allow the media to shape their opinions rather then learning the facts for themselves, only help to continue this narrative. While I don’t necessarily agree with Jim’s generalized lionization of legal immigrants (I tend to evaluate people on a case-by-case basis), I do agree that being an unwitting accomplice to a pointless political tantrum, makes you an accomplice nonetheless. In other words, we are paid for performance, not intentions. So, yes, phoning in as a protest that was concocted by some malcontent somewhere thousands of miles away not only hurts the employer, but also the other workers who then had to work longer hours, and the customers who didn’t receive their products as a consequence. And all for naught.

  2. It continues to amaze me how “Trumpians” view the world…anything that doesn’t agree with their perspective is “fake” and demonized. This is not what a leader that is supposedly trying to unite an extremely divided country should be purporting to our country. Candidate Trump showed no interest in anyone or anything that was different from himself, even Republican establishment disliked him. The only reason the Republican party accepted him was because he won the election and they would have accepted the Devil himself if he had run and won!
    Now we have President Trump, agree or disagree with him, he is our president for the next 4 years. It is an American citizen’s right to protest if they so choose to do so! America wouldn’t exist if our “founders” and the citizens at the time didn’t participate in a lengthy militant protest. Do you think the King of England agreed with the upstarts of the American Revolution! Now that America has it’s own ruling class, for anyone that doesn’t know who this may be……it is the billionaires……as citizens we cannot blindly accept what the ruling class wants! Their only goal is to gather more influence and wealth to themselves! What little they choose to release to the masses isn’t and won’t be enough to survive let along prosper…keeping the masses fighting amongst themselves leaves the billionaires free to continue “gathering.”
    Regarding the Immigrant Day protest, I didn’t even hear about it until I read an article on this website. I have doubts that any immigrant that was treated fairly and respectfully by the companies they worked for even participated in this protest.
    On those employers that took disciplinary action on those immigrants that did participate, their actions only prove they do not consider these employees as valuable assets. Punishing anyone for supporting their personal political beliefs is un-American!
    As Americans we cannot accept actions like this, whether you agree or disagree, any form of censorship cannot be supported in a democratic system! Censorship is the first step towards the destruction of that system.

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