Sometimes the only way to make your point is to stick together as one. There is safety in numbers and voices united can deliver a stronger message. That's what one group of non-union workers learned this week when they decided to band together and take matters into their own hands by shutting down a new UPS hub in Indianapolis.
Antoine Dangerfield, who shot the now viral video of workers walking out, said in an interview with Jacobin that it started with the firing of a few Latino employees by a boss the workers believe is racist. In a show of solidarity and protest, the other workers shut down the site and walked off the job. Dangerfield, a welder working for a separate sub-contractor, recorded the walk-out as it happened.
Dangerfield explained in the interview what led to the walk-out:
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.
We have safety meetings, and we usually have a translator [for Spanish speakers] because there are so many. On Tuesday, we had a safety meeting, and like I said, the Mexicans don’t really like [the safety coordinator].
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.
As the walkout continued, Dangerfield grew excited and used some colorful language to describe the happenings. You may want to watch with the sound off.