Entire Mexican workforce leaves construction site after their colleagues were fired

Antoine Dangerfield

A video of Mexican construction workers walking out in solidarity after some of their co-workers were fired has gone viral online.

The incident reportedly happened in Indianapolis on July 31 at a new depot that was being built for UPS.

The walkout was apparently in retaliation to one of their bosses, who has been accused of racism, who dismissed a small number of workers for disobeying orders.

After learning of this, the entire Mexican workforce at the site, which is believed to be around 100, all left and completely shut down the operation.

A video of the moment was captured by Antonie Dangerfield, a 30-year-old welder who was also working on the site but under a different contractor, which shows the Mexican workers leaving in their droves.

Warning: the below video contains offensive language.

At the time of writing the video has been viewed over 2.5 million times on Facebook and has also gone viral on Twitter, YouTube and Reddit.

As the video progresses, you can see that when everyone has left the facility is basically a ghost town, without a soul in sight.

Antoine has since revealed that he was fired for posting the video and was offered $250 to remove it but refused to because of how popular it was.

Speaking to Jacobin Antoine praised his Mexican colleagues for what they did:

I just felt that power, man. It just felt good. They were walking out with their heads up, strong.

It touched me. That’s why I was like, wow, this is beautiful. It was beautiful that they came together like that — stood up for themselves and not let that dude walk all over them.

Antoine added that around five or six workers were sent home by a safety coordinator after they refused to translate a meeting for him.

There was a safety guy. He was just a racist, basically — always messing with anybody who’s not white. The Hispanics just stayed out of his way.

They warned each other when he came because they knew he was always messing with them, taking pictures and videos, trying to get them fired.

He asked one of the Mexicans to come up and translate. He didn’t wanna do it. [The coordinator] got mad, real red-faced.

Next thing you know, he dismissed the meeting. So he’s walking around just sending them home, trying to fire them. So he sent like five or six of them home.

So the Hispanics got together and were like, 'Nah. We got families and kids. We’re not about to let these dudes just do whatever.' So they took a stand.

The workers are reportedly not part of a union, which makes their actions even more significant, especially as unions are on the decline in the United States.

Although he lost his job, he has no regrets about what happened and has called the moment "life-changing."

You can say that. It was life-changing to me to see that happen. Because it was like, dang, they really came together.

And that’s why I’m not mad about the video, about getting fired. Because it’s five million people who saw that.

And it might change their view on things. Empowering people.

So me losing a job is nothing compared to the big picture.

If we can get it in our heads that we are the people, and if we make our numbers count, we can change anything.

Following the viral success of the video, a Go Fund Me page has been set up for Antoine to help him while he searches for a new job.

HT Jacobin

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