Summit will feel impact of walkout
summit daily news
SUMMIT COUNTY ” Sometimes actions speak louder than words.
On Monday, you’re not likely to see hordes of boisterous folks parading through the streets of Summit County, waving Mexican and American flags, chanting “Si se puede!” (Yes we can!) ” a scene played out on TV screens over the last month as immigrants’ rights rallies flooded major cities across the nation.
But on that day, your favorite neighborhood restaurant or business just might be closed.
Prominent pro-immigration groups, many of which directed the swollen rallies in cities like Denver, Phoenix and Los Angeles last month, have called for a national boycott Monday, calling for workers to skip the workday entirely. They’ve also called for students to be kept home from school, and for immigrants to spend no money that day, reflecting a unity that they hope will have an impact on local economies.
A few local businesses contacted this week said they planned to be closed Monday, a day when they’d normally be open.
Fiesta Jalisco restaurant in Breckenridge and Silverthorne won’t be open. Neither will Mi Casa Restaurant in Breckenridge.
At Tienda Munoz in Frisco, a market for Mexican and Latin American goods, a person who didn’t want to be identified said, “No, we’re not opening. We’d just rather not open that day.”
Other businesses that usually see a lot of business from immigrant folks were planning to be open, despite the possibility of seeing a lot less business.
“… we’re going to work that day,” said Greg Urdusuastegui, manager of Carniceria La Perla, a restaurant and market in Silverthorne. However, he did expect business to be slower than usual. “I think it will be off a little bit because I’ve heard a lot people say that they’re not going out that day, but we’ll see what happens.”
Mountain Temp Services in Dillon, a company that employs many immigrants day-to-day, isn’t expecting things to be all that different on Monday.
“We’ve known that there was the potential for something to happen that day for quite a while ” it’s been in the back of our minds, so we’re prepared for it,” said Murphy Funkhouser, branch manager with the employment company. “Our employees talk to us about a lot of things, but this is not something that’s been widely discussed.”
Staff at Beaver Run Resort and Conference Center downplayed a possible Monday slowdown or worker walkout as well.
“We’re certainly aware of some of the media coverage, but I have not heard anything through the grapevine that we should be expecting anything other than an ordinary day,” said John Mullen, director of human resources.
Hoping for changes to the system
The Family and Intercultural Resource Center (FIRC) in Dillon is a direct link to the immigrant community, and is challenged with that community’s integration on the whole. They see the problems wrought by the current convoluted system.
“Clearly the immigration system is broken, and there needs to be some reform. We find it encouraging that immigrants are coming out of the shadows to make themselves seen and heard,” said Christina Carlson, executive director of FIRC, speaking about the recent massive immigration rallies and the proposed worker walkout.
The FIRC and the thrift store it operates will officially be open Monday, but Carlson said, “I think we’ll be affected.”
Paty Cruz is the Families Unites program director at the FIRC, and she hopes that the boycott or walkout gets some traction.
“The people whose employers are friendly to the idea, they are going to take advantage of that and not go to work. I hope more people can remember about the consumer part, too,” Cruz said.
Cruz said that she hoped momentum from the rallies over the past weeks would result in some real changes to the system, such as an expanded guest worker program.
“I hope it has an impact, but if it doesn’t, I’m OK with that, because already the rallies across the country have had a huge impact ” people now are willing to come out, and step out for their rights,” Cruz said.
Duffy Hayes can be reached at (970) 668-3998, ext. 13611, or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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