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Central Valley | Immigrant Rights | Labor & Workers

Kitchen Workers at Chevys Fresh Mex in Tracy, CA Fired For Marching on May 1st
by sources
Friday May 5th, 2006 12:08 AM
Kitchen Workers Terminated after Marching for Immigrant Rights on May 1st
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The Chevys Fresh Mex in Tracy, CA terminated many of it employees because of their absence from work on Monday, May 1, after the kitchen's Latino crew had handed a signed petition to their employer indicating their desire to support the May 1st march.

Other workers were forced to comply in labor on May 1st, regardless of their desire to express their opinion with their community in the May 1st march. Many employees, as a gesture of solidarity towards their coworkers, stepped out of work when their opinion about the unfair termination measure was completely ignored.

The manager who carried out the mass firing is Luis, the kitchen manager. Luis was following the orders of his bosses: Greg, general manager of Chevys at Tracy, and Gary, manager of the franchise which owns the restaurant. Gary is believed to have e-mailed the order that any workers marching on May 1st be terminated.

The phone number for Chevys in Tracy is (209) 839-2241 and it is located at 2770 North Naglee Rd Tracy, CA 95376. Franchise manager Gary can normally can be found at the Chevys location in Livermore. The number is 925-960-0071 and address is 4685 1st Street Livermore, CA 94550. The number for the corporation that owns Chevys is 1-800-4-CHEVYS.
§Restaurant workers fired after protest
by photo by Bob Brownne/Tracy Press Friday May 5th, 2006 9:20 AM
2006-05-04-workers.jpg
2006-05-04-workers.jpg

Dismissed: Members of the kitchen crew fired from Chevy’s Fresh Mex include, from front left: Leonela Perez, with her children, Alexis and Uriel; Maria Huerta, who was not fired but quit; Daniel Hurtado; and kitchen supervisor Fernando Martinez, who was not fired. From back left: Cecilia Arellanes; Francisco Valenzuela; Nicholas Andrade, who was not fired but quit; Alfredo Silva; Tomas Martinez; and Adan Rodriguez.

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by Oscar G.
Friday May 5th, 2006 5:49 AM
"Gary is believed to have e-mailed the order that any workers marching on May 1st be terminated. "

Believed? What source do you have to back up this statement?
by .
Friday May 5th, 2006 7:00 AM
well, if you look at how this is written, it seems like only someone who works there or was directly informed by someone who works there, could have typed this up. So it's unlikely that they could refer you to an outside newspaper source. The source would probably have to be the specific name of a worker, and it could be risky to put that out on the internet. If the statement were false, it would be difficult to determine unless you were an insider.
by corporate drone
Friday May 5th, 2006 10:59 AM
Mass firings/layoffs like this are generally a result of some high-level managerial muck-a-mucks policy rather than the whims of an individual supervisor.
by Umm...
Friday May 5th, 2006 11:25 AM
Just an FYI,

That Chevys in Tracy is a franchise location, not a corporate establishment (in other words, it's not owned by Chevys Fresh Mex.
by Jbarker
Friday May 5th, 2006 1:01 PM
I used to work for Chevys---they are by far the least ethical establishment I have ever worked for..They will fire people that have worked there for years for being sick, they refuse to give people breaks, I personally got third degree burns from three falling sizzle platters ( my fault) but... they told me I had to stay and finish doing my roll up ( the silverware wrapped a napkins)--I had to quite to get treatment..BAD PLACE, VERY BAD PLACE!


CALL CORPORATE

And tell them there franchises are outta control and you will not support CHEVYS OR FUZIOS!

1-800-4-Chevys.


by d
Saturday May 6th, 2006 9:36 AM
Join me in e-mailing chevy's corperate office demanding that those fired be hired back immediatly and a public apollogy be made. If we are lucky they will fire the manager to set an example!!!

http://www.chevys.com/frameset.html
The following is from Neal, Gerber & Eisenberg LLP, a Chicago law firm that represents high profile corporate clients that include Fortune 100 companies.

Here's the gist of a warning they distributed to businesses on April 25:

"Under the National Labor Relations Act, employees have the right to engage in concerted activities for their “mutual aid and protection.” In order for concerted activity to be for “mutual aid or protection,” and hence, constitute protected activity, it must bear a sufficiently close relationship to the employees’ interests as employees. While protests that are purely political in nature do not constitute protected concerted activity, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) and the federal courts have found some political activities protected where the participants expressed concerns that legislation or governmental activity would impact their job security, wages or other working conditions. For example, in Kaiser Engineers v. NLRB (1976), the Ninth Circuit enforced the NLRB’s finding that employees who had engaged in protesting immigration law changes were engaged in protected activity where the employees claimed that their protest was to protect their job security which they believed the changes threatened, and thus, bore a sufficiently close relationship to their interests as employees and prohibited the employer from subjecting them to discipline for engaging in such activity."

The workers at the Tracy Chevy's should know this, as should any workers fired for participating in the protests on Mayday. Direct action might still be necessary if protesting the illegality of the firings fails to get them reinstated. Knowing the law can help, regardless.

Solidarity,

Gifford

Here's the entire report from the law firm:

http://www.ngelaw.com/news/pubs_detail.aspx?ID=594
by Mike S.
Sunday May 7th, 2006 7:31 PM
The Right to Work is a right universally recognized by the UN Charter, with no caveats.

The U.S. ratified the charter.

Judge for yourself.
by JD
Wednesday May 10th, 2006 5:44 PM
Hi, I wrote a nasty letter to corporate, including my contact info and, get this-- the district manager called up my 70 year old mom and harrassed her, saying the media wasn-t covering the story truthfully. So, I tried to get ahold of him, and in the process got my hands on these numbers, should someone want to contact him directly.

His name is Gary Rickles

Office: 209-524-5510
Cell: 209-595-5679

He treated me (though not my mother) with respect. His bottom line is profits. I would stress that a public apology and rehiring of all fired employees is in the best interest of his wallet, and that the failure to do so will result in plenty of word-of-mouth-counter-advertising-- always a bad thing for shitty corporate mexican food.
by Me.
Monday May 15th, 2006 6:40 PM
Thanks for letting me know.

I called and asked for the manager to be notified that I wasn't gonna eat at chevy's anymore.

Chevy's Fresh Mex
2770 Naglee Rd
Tracy, CA 95304-7309
(209) 839-2241

by Gene
( gmmd [at] comcast.net ) Friday May 19th, 2006 8:20 AM
I will boycott Chevys for firing the employees that marched on May 1st.

I believe everyone has the right to voice their political opinions when it comes to issues of unjustice and immorality... that's what America was based upon...Free Speech, our First Ammendment Rights! Shame on you Chevys!

A copy of this note will go out to all my distribution list as well.
by GMTG
Saturday May 20th, 2006 7:56 AM
These employees requested the day off, it was denied. There were so many, the business probably could not function without them. They took it off anyway, they were fired. So what's the problem?
One of the requirements of keeping your job is good attendance. These people openly defied their boss. What did they expect?
While you have the right to political expression, you also have the responsibility to show up for work if you expect to be employed.
by Thanks
Saturday May 20th, 2006 8:49 AM
Thanks to the above idiots, My position is solidified.
I will donate to Indybay and boycott Chev's. Fuck your "duty to work"
by side of pesticides w/ your nachos?
Saturday May 20th, 2006 2:25 PM
Boycotting Chevys is a great idea, now there's even one more reason. The food they serve is low quality and uses pesticides, herbicides, and excess fertilizer in the process of growing. Corporate agribusiness farms that supply Chevy's with plantation style fast food are responsible for higher rates of cancer in farmworkers and residents. There's another reason to boycott these fast food "lite" chains like Chevy's, Ovile Garden, etc..

When comparing Chevy's to McDonalds, Burger King, Taco Bell (also boicott targets of Coalition of Immokalee Workers)

http://www.ciw-online.org/

it may appear that franchise chains like Chevys are better quality food because they cook it there and servers bring the food out of the kitchen. It seems the lesser evil than fast food. In reality, the means used to grow the food at Chevy's, Olive Garden, etc.. is identical to McDonalds and other fast food outlets. All are pesticide, herbicide and fertilizer intensive. They don't feel like growing organic, as enough of their customers are oblivious..

The difference between fast food (McDonalds) and fast food 'lite' chains like Chevy's is only in the preparation and presentation of the food and the extra wait time. In both cases workers are prevented from unionizing and wage slavery abuses abound. These franchise chains like Chevy's rob people of their dignity, respect and health. Locally owned dining establishments that serve organic food are rare, yet treat their workers better also. Supporting local organic food is a vote for fair treatment of workers in the fields and also the kitchens..

Alternatives include the Alliance for Fair Food found at the CIW website, and a demand from consumers, farmers and workers for zero tolerance for petrochemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers (cause of eutrophication). Many conventional petrochemically derived pesticides are known endocrine disrupters and/or carcinogens. These dangerous chemicals are sprayed into the air by plantation agribusiness corporations, subjecting farm workers and the ecosystem, downwind residents to dangerous chemicals. Organic farmers have already proven that petrochemical pesticides aren't needed to grow healthy food crops. Let's stop "playing along" when agribusiness corporations rationalize their dependecy on petrochemical carcinogens..
by MAYRA ESPINOZA
( mayraespinoza [at] comcast.net ) Saturday May 20th, 2006 7:59 PM
I SUPPORT THE CHEVY'S WORKERS FOR ALOT OF REASONS. THE 1ST REASON IS BECAUSE THEY ARE HARD WORKERS. THE SECOND REASON IS THAT THEY HAVE THE RIGHT TO SHOW WHAT THEY ARE AND NOT BE COMMANDED BY OTHER PEOPLE THAT ARE WORTHLESS. NO MATTER WHAT I WILL ALWAYS SUPPORT THIS HARD WORKING PEOPLE!!!!!!!
THE PERSON WHO WROTE "THANKS TO THOSE IDIOTS ETC." IS NOT RESPECTING THEM. THATS WHAT YOU CALL RUDNESS AND DISRESPECTFUL!!!!. LIKE I SAID ON THE FIRST COMMENT I WILL ALWAYS AND FOREVER SUPPORT THE PEOPLE WHO WORKED AT CHEVY'S. THIS PEOPLE SHOW DIGNITY FOR THEMSELVES!!! GGGGGGGGGGGGGOOOOOOOOOOO CCCCCCCHHHHHHEEEEEEEVVVVVVVVVYYYYYYYY''''''''SSSSSSSSS WWWOORRKKERS!!!!!!!!!!!
by C
Thursday May 25th, 2006 12:37 PM
They are strong and showed that they are not commanded by anybody, not even their former bosses. So they walked off their jobs for a protest. Is that really a reason to be fired! They should show their former bosses a thing or two and open a competing resteraunt next to this one. Then they could take business away from Chevys. They could also walk off their jobs when they want and let employees take time off to attend protests.
by Mr immigrant.
Saturday Jun 24th, 2006 3:59 PM
I am a recent immigrant myself and I think the walkout is completely rediculous. Just another excuse for freeloaders to get out of work for the day. There are a million ways they can show support and get involved in the cause without these kinds of irresponsible and fraudulant tactics. They end up screwing over their employer and taking it out on their employer who has done nothing but be good to them, help them, hire them, pay them, etc. These people act as if everyone in the world, even those not responsible, owe them everything when they are owed nothing. Anyone participating in a walkout that their employer cant have due to needing the workers etc, should be mandatorily fired every single time. Work has nothing to do with their private political interests they should keep to their own time, not jeopardize their employers business and livelihood by punishing them for something they had nothing to do with. It is pure unexcuseable poor behavior. You dont punish the innocent to freeload based on your political interests. BRUTAL. Im so proud of chevys firing these people that I have decided to dine there tonight. (chevys was one of our choices for the night until i read this article when i was looking up their website) What is with these people??? I learned when I was 17 years old that this is completely inexcuseable behavior. Why does it take so long for freeloader type people to mature?? not a single one of these people looks under 17 so young and stupid isnt even an excuse here. Just blatant selfishness, rudeness, and jeaopardizing the employers business. Everyone participating "on work time" should have been mandatorily fired across the country at every business, period. This is pure common sense, and THE ONLY RIGHT THING TO DO.
by ME MOTHAFUKA
Tuesday Nov 7th, 2006 11:40 AM
MAKING MONEY OUTTA OTHERS PEOPLE CULTURE
by response to Mr Immigrant- read more carefully
Tuesday Nov 7th, 2006 11:51 AM
You said, "I am a recent immigrant myself and I think the walkout is completely rediculous. Just another excuse for freeloaders to get out of work for the day.... They end up screwing over their employer and taking it out on their employer who has done nothing but be good to them, help them, hire them, pay them, etc.... You dont punish the innocent to freeload based on your political interests. BRUTAL....Everyone participating "on work time" should have been mandatorily fired across the country at every business, period. This is pure common sense, and THE ONLY RIGHT THING TO DO."

I bet that you are a business owner (perhaps you own a Chevys franchise). I bet you have employees working under you and that is why you can't understand these people's positions. I bet that you have health care, make enough money so that you don't have to have more than one job, can take a day off whenever you want or need to, etc. These people probably didn't have health care, and their job descriptions probably didn't include the right or ability to take a personal day whenever they wanted to.

I don't think that these people were paid a salary-- I am sure that they were paid by the hour, in other words, something like $10 per hour worked. You said that they were participating in the protest "on work time." I highly doubt that these people had punched in or signed in or whatever the process is/was at Chevys. If they hadn't signed in, this means that they were participating ON THEIR OWN TIME. What I read up above was that the kitchen workers had petitioned their boss to ask for the day off. When that request was rejected, they took direct action and took the day off. A lot of Chevys' competition was also closed that day (ie, smaller businesses), and hopefully a lot of its potential "diners" were probably observing the economic boycott-- so staying open and not allowing people to take the day off was simple selfishness on the part of management.

California sucks in that it is an at-will employment state. Sadly, this benefits the employer, not the worker- the employer gets to decide if you are employed, and can fire you at any time for any reason. It's really sad that the economy is in a condition such that many don't have the ability to work at an un-worker friendly restaurant such as Chevys.

-luci
by jacob j. rice
Saturday Jan 27th, 2007 11:55 AM
I accidently came across the above sight, while looking for work. It is more interesting to read the reactions to each of the comments, than to what actually happened.

From the above information about the termination of personel, you are given no information that would ever stand up in any court. It basically said nothing. The sad thing is that it triggered hostility on both sides, instead of giving good information.

I have been involved in loosing my job. I was injured on the job ( ruptured three discs, left in constant pain. my employer said i was unable to continue in my job. They said I couldn't return to work until I saw their doctors, I did and their doctor said there was no way I would be able to do the job. infact he said that i wouldn't be able to lift more than ten to fifteen pounds. ) I have been out of work for several years, because no one will hire me ( damaged goods) I was fortunate, I had put over 25 years in a private retierment fund, so I could get something.

My brother in law was an air traffic controler, when the president of the united states said that any person going out on strike would loose his job. Guess what, non of the airtraffic controlers at the air port where my brother in law worked went out on strike, ( not one) yet they were all fired, because they asked to have their union rep. present while being talked to by management. Oh they hired a lawyer and fought the firing for over ten years, they finally moved on and nothing was done about it.

I have never been in a union that has ever done much to help its members, but I do believe that there should be some kind of unit, to try to help people that need it.

We all would be better off if everyone, employers and employees were honest in their actions. It serves no one to only try and see things from their own point of view.

I don't know the connecton between the march and the firings, but if it wasn't connected, as the law said, then why be concerned about it. It was a choice made by an employee, knowing the outcome ahead of time. no surprise.

If on the otherhand, if the employer was wrong, the american civil liberties union takes on these cases all the time, for free and would be glad to jump in on a case like this.

I have only eaten at Chevy's twice in my life, the food was good, the service was good.

I do agree with the statement from one of the people above. That you have the responcability to work, if you have a job. We used to call it riding for the brand. If we taking a mans money, we were loyal to him. Some of us still know what that means. I have never went on strike. I worked at one business that the workers went on strike. I went and got another job and quit the union, what they were asking for was unfair to the employer and way overboard. I would have crossed the line, but the employer was shut down.

Yes I still believe that if you are taking a mans money, you owe him your loyalty

and He owes you for doing a good honest job, a fair wage and treatement.