SOUTH BEND — Twelve employees fired for participating in a national protest have a job opportunity.
Dusty Oakley, the owner of Brownie’s Hamburgers, heard about the former employees of I Don’t Care Bar and Grill, who were fired after participating in the “Day Without Immigrants” protest Thursday. All 12 employees were Hispanic.
Oakley offered all of them jobs.
“They needed something,” Oakley said. “They were in need obviously because they were just let go out of the blue.”
This 60-year-old business is known for its burgers and pies. The joint only holds 49 people, but the crowds are plenty and keep this close-knit group of employees always hustling.
“We are like family,” Oakley said.
The 12 Hispanic men fired said they felt it was important to participate in the national protest.
“I am not into politics much, but I am not going to shame anybody for standing up for what they believe in,” Oakley said.
Bill McNally, the owner of I Don’t Care, said he has a zero tolerance policy for no show, no call employees.
“I know they said that was their policy and that’s what they are sticking behind, but that is not my policy,” Oakley said.
If you aren’t going to show up for work, a call to the manager is the courteous thing to do. But communication is key on both ends.
“We communicate enough that I think they would have said something to me,” Oakley said.
Oakley has several employees of all nationalities. He said he is not concerned with what they look like, but how they work.
“They are a very integral part with what we do here, and I am very thankful for them and would hate to lose them,” Oakley said. “We look for people that are good people, that want to work, willing to show up and are hard workers.”
Oakley has met with a few of the workers who were fired. He says they are weighing their options.