WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- Four restaurant workers of a Mexican chain walked out after they were threatened with being fired if they refuse to assist in fulfilling an order for 250 highway patrol officers assigned to monitor protests in Columbus, Ohio.
- The four Condado Tacos workers were not fired but a spokesperson for the restaurant said that staff “must understand that… we will continue to serve everyone, including law enforcement.”
- Social media picked up the story, leading managers to close the location the following day and a second store after a worker tweeted a letter to managers.
Floyd’s death in the hands of Minnesota Police not only sparked massive protests against racism and police brutality but also discussions of freedom of expression in the workplace.
Take into account the case of Jake Widdowson, an employee of Condado Tacos in Columbus, who opposed a catering order of 500 tacos for 250 Ohio Highway Patrol officers.
“I have been participating in the protests in Columbus, and seeing the way that police have been treating peaceful protesters, it was immediately clear that it was against my principles to be complicit in that order,” Widdowson said in an interview.
Although they were not fired, the staff “must understand that Condado Tacos is an inclusive business and that we will continue to serve everyone, including law enforcement.” a spokesperson said in a written statement. “
The workers’ protest action led to a closure of the location and another store which had an employee who tweeted a statement to managers. It also opened discussions in other companies about freedom of expression in the workplace.
Dust-up and staff safety were discussed in a meeting following the two store closures as the company plans to reopen next week.
Widdowson said that this feedback from its workers also led to the chain hoping to donate to charities that support criminal justice and fight racism.
An agency spokesperson, Lt. Craig Cvetan said that they were unaware of the situation not until it was reported on the news and spread out on social media the next day.
Cvetan said that the workers who ended up filling their order treated them with nothing but kindness and respect.
State Attorney General Dave Yost, a Republican, in a tweet said: “I’ll miss their tacos. I’ll patronize any restaurant that posts a sign outside that says ‘Law Enforcement Welcome Here.’”