Local businesses weigh in on protest

'A Day Without Immigrants'

Quite a few local businesses in Austin joined the national 'Day Without Immigrants' strike on Thursday. The owners and their staff stayed home and out of the workplace in protest, but at the same time, not all of them chose to participate.

KVUE News talked to the owner and staff members at Mi Tradicion Bakery in North Austin. They were one of many who decided to close down their business for the day.

"I want to show the community we support them,” said Jesus Guevara, Mi Tradicion Bakery owner.

He said 100 percent of his workers are immigrants, and he wants them to know he respects them and their decisions to strike.

"This is a business that was created to bring a little bit of Mexico into here, so we feel we should be supporting each other,” said Paulina Barbo, Mi Tradicion Bakery staff.

Guevara said salaried workers at Mi Tradicion will get paid and hourly workers will not.

However, not all Austin restaurants took part. One of those was Min Choe, owner at Jenna's Asian Kitchen. He said that this day of immigrants is not just about Latinos.

"We're a small mom and pop restaurant as well, and so closing down for a single day does have a financial bearing," he said.

Another business that remained open was Casa Chapala Mexican Restaurant. The owner said only half of her staff showed up to work today.

"Normally, we set up a buffet and prepare a quick lunch, but being understaffed,” said the owner Lucina Barragan.

She said she had to make menu adjustments. As for why she decided to stay open, she said it's because she is an immigrant herself and she was raised to develop a strong work ethic.

"Us kids practically raising ourselves, because our parents had to work three jobs to afford rent, food things like that, but my dad was a dreamer,” Barragan said. "He wanted to one day be a business owner, so he worked really hard. He wanted a better life for us."

Lucina said she hardly misses a day of work, because of her dad's words.

"He says when you commit, that stands for who you are," she said.

At the end of the day, all of the business owners KVUE News talked to said they support their immigrant workers and their decisions.

"This is to show our country, we are a part of this country," said Jesus Guevara, Mi Tradicion Bakery Owner.

KVUE News also reached out to the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. GAHCC President Mark Madrid said the supports all of the businesses that work with the Chamber and respects their right to protest.

In Round Rock, the car lot where Isaac Claudio works also stayed open.

"It's not bad what the people are doing. Actually I think it's really good that the people are getting together to accomplish a goal, but in my personal point of view i don't think it's gonna impact that much."

Claudio believes the way members of his community will make the largest impact, is by getting a college degree.

"Be better," said Claudio. "Be better for the society and for this country so they can respect us more as a community."

 

© 2017 KVUE-TV


JOIN THE CONVERSATION

To find out more about Facebook commenting please read the
Conversation Guidelines and FAQs

Leave a Comment