Things That Matter

Aramark Is Fighting Against The Claim That This Latina Worker Was Unjustly Fired

Aramark, a food service company, is facing a serious backlash after firing a long-time employee from its American University branch. Ana Ebanks, an immigrant from Honduras, recently missed 40 minutes of work from her job at a dining hall. According to a recent Facebook post, that led to Ebanks being fired after 10 years of service.

Facebook post by a former AU student named Carlos Vera claims that Ebanks was fired after missing 40 minutes of work. Her reason for being late? Ebanks was taking a class at American University.

Credit: Carlos Mark Vera / Facebook
CREDIT: Credit: Carlos Mark Vera / Facebook

Just days before being fired by Aramark, Ana received a full-ride scholarship to attend the Latin Legum Magister program at American University’s Washington College of Law. Josselyn told mitú that her mother fled from Honduras 13 years ago, leaving behind her law career for safety in the U.S. (Ebanks was the subject of a Washington Post profile in 2010).

Ana’s classes were all at night, except for one that was in the middle of the day. “She went to her supervisors and told them about this recent win of the scholarship,” Josselyn told mitú. “They didn’t take it well.”

Ana’s daughter believes her mother’s outspokenness is what led to Ana being fired.

Credit: Ebanks Josselyn / Facebook
CREDIT: Credit: Ebanks Josselyn / Facebook

According to her daughter, Josselyn Ebanks, Ana has been an outspoken member of the Aramark team since the organization took over food services for the university.

“When Aramark came on board of the food service workers they promised wonders: truth is they are bad,” Josselyn told mitú. “They were creating a bad situation there but mom stood quiet. She would go to student meetings and speak on behalf of all workers and ask them to help us fight against them.”

But Ana tried to work things out with her managers beforehand to avoid a bad situation, according to Vera and Josselyn.

Credit: Carlos Mark Vera / Facebook
CREDIT: Credit: Carlos Mark Vera / Facebook

According to Josselyn, Aramark management, Ana and some shop stewards representing Ana met to establish accommodations so Ana could take her class. A verbal agreement was reached.

“On Wednesday there was a meeting where they promised verbally [that] they would accommodate her, but on Thursday, they called the union shop steward, who was present in the meeting where they made the agreement to accommodate [Ana], and told her she didn’t have to work on Friday,” Josselyn told mitú. “On Friday they called other people who were not aware of the previous verbal agreement and told them they had to fire her for stealing time.”

One of the representatives for Ana told Aramark management to reconsider firing her since other students have been accommodated before, according to Josselyn. However, Ana and the representative were told that management would take a chance and fired her.

Credit: Ebanks Josselyn / Facebook
CREDIT: Credit: Ebanks Josselyn / Facebook

The firing of Ana has sparked outrage across the AU campus. Vera, who also founded Exploited Wonks. which tracks worker abuse stories from AU, told mitú that Ana is beloved by the student body and that she is an employee who goes above and beyond. He credits the students’ admiration of Ana for the success of his social media campaign.

In response to Ana’s firing, Vera started the social media campaign #Justice4Ana.


Yet, according to Karen Cutler, the vice president of corporate communications for Aramark, the information being spread on social media is not accurate.

“Although individual personnel matters are private and it would be inappropriate to comment publicly on a specific situation, we can assure unequivocally that the information being shared on social media is inaccurate and incomplete with many key facts omitted,” Cutler told mitú in a email statement. “We believe strongly in career development and fully encourage any associate who wants to continue his/her education or acquire additional skills outside of work. When associates are represented by a union, as is the case at American [University], they must follow terms and conditions around their employment set by a collective bargaining agreement, or CBA, between their employer and union.”

And the students of AU are not letting up on AU and even staged a sit-in in the Aramark office on campus. Josselyn is touched by the amount of support for her mother.

Credit: Ebanks Josselyn / Facebook
CREDIT: Credit: Ebanks Josselyn / Facebook

“It’s [the response] been great, I was kind of surprised,” Josselyn told mitú. “A student got close to mom and told her she was in that rally because of her, because she knew the kind of worker my mom was mom started crying. The response has been amazing since everybody knows how terrible Aramark is.”

“Workers have also called and said everything will be fine, that we must stick together,” Josselyn recalled.

Credit: Ebanks Josselyn / Facebook
CREDIT: Credit: Ebanks Josselyn / Facebook

There is still no word on whether or not Ana will be reinstated to her former position but the AU student body is making sure the world knows what they think of Aramark’s treatment of it’s employees.

Watch the FB video of the sit-in below.

#Justice4Ana sit-in

Posted by Noa Leibowitz on Tuesday, September 6, 2016

mitú reached out to American University for comment on the matter and there has been no response as of publication.


READ: The One Instance Where Discrimination Didn’t Win

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Joe Biden Promises To Fight For Dreamers If Elected In November

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Joe Biden Promises To Fight For Dreamers If Elected In November

Biden For President / Flickr

An overwhelming majority of Americans support protecting Dreamers. Hundreds of thousands of young adults rely on the protection from deportation and work authorization to live with dignity and out of the shadows. Presidential nominee Joe Biden wants to make sure they stay protected.

Dreamers are looking to a Biden administration to finish what an Obama administration started.

Credit: Biden For President / Flickr

According to the official Biden campaign website, the presidential nominee will work with Congress to reinstate DACA protections and to create a pathway to citizenship. DACA was won by undocumented activists putting fear aside and publicly fought to change the minds of Americans and politicans.

“Undocumented ‘youth’ are no longer youth,” says Moises Serrano, DACA activist and the man profiled in the documentary “Forbidden.” “DACA recipients and undocumented immigrants have been living in fear and instability for decades now. We survived eight years under the Obama administration and four years under the Trump administration. Immigration reform was promised under the Obama-Biden platform; a promise that is still unfulfilled.”

He added: “We hope that President Biden puts an end to the instability in our lives once and for all, or we are ready to hold him accountable in the same way we held Obama accountable in our fight for Administrative Relief.”

Biden’s policy proposes protecting Dreamers and helping them advance in this country.

Credit: Biden For President / Flickr

Biden promises to reinstate DACA to protect Dreamers and will be looking into ways to protect their families. The policy put forth by a potential Biden administration is pivotal in giving those who are DACA recipients a chance to live without fear and with all of the rights as their fellow citizens.

“After living through a deep loss in 2016 after losing my second mother and only being granted access to be on her deathbed in Mexico through my ability to get advanced parole through DACA I learned that no loss would ever be greater than that,” said Cindy Nava, a DACA recipient, political operative and policy advocate. “However, November rolled around and another loss took place. One that impacted my life, that of my family and my community.”

DACA is a very important issue as hundreds of thousands of Dreamers are on the line.

Credit: Biden For President / Flickr

People like Nava are hopeful that a Biden administration will bring that dignity back to the immigrant community. It is a community that is vibrant and has contributed vastly to American culture. A BIden administration would be a chance for Nava to see herself reflected in government.

“I am hopeful to see the daughter of immigrants, a woman of color, and a woman I can finally feel represented by be sworn in as the first woman VP of this country,” Nava says. “I will look forward to an administration that listens to the communities it intends to represent. An administration that empowers the entire country to work with each other to support, strengthen, respect and uplift each other each and every day. An administration that values and is grateful for the contributions that immigrants bring to the foundation of our country each and every day.”

Nava wants to see an immigration reform that puts immigrant humanity at the forefront. One that understands the needs for people to seek refuge and a better life in a foreign country.

“No immigrant seeks to find a fix on a silver platter. Nor do they believe that this will be an easy task,” Nava says. “The only thing our families ask for is a chance. Una oportunidad para recordarle a este pais that their lucha and determination comes from a deep sense of ganas to create a life filled with more opportunities than they ever had.”

The battle over DACA is far from over but it is clear that the Trump administration is on the wrong side of public opinion. Biden’s plan would strengthen DACA and restore the program to its full functionality.

READ: Trump Administration Limit DACA Renewals, Blocks New Applications

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President Trump Falsely Claimed That Covid Is To Blame For Ending DACA

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President Trump Falsely Claimed That Covid Is To Blame For Ending DACA

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In 2017, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions held a press conference terminating Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) on behalf of the Trump administration. Since then hundreds of thousands of DACA recipients have lived in uncertainty. President Donald Trump tried to rewrite history at his town hall event Oct. 15.

President Donald Trump blamed the end of DACA on Covid during his town hall.

The truth is that President Trump’s administration attempted to end DACA in 2017. Former Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions was the attorney general at the time and made the announcement in a press conference. Since then, the Trump administration has continued to advance a lawsuit to terminate the program. DACA allows for hundreds of thousands of adults to work and live in the U.S. without fear of deportation.

Long before Covid, the Trump administration was told to resume DACA as intended.

Instead, the Trump administration has violated federal orders and continued to restrict DACA and those who can apply. The Supreme Court refused to hear arguments against DACA meaning that the lower court’s ruling stood. The ruling was that the Trump administration had to reinstate the program in full. However, the Supreme Court did not dismiss the case allowing for the administration to come back.

President Trump also claimed that DACA recipients and Dreamers are not that same.

Another falsehood by the president at the town hall. DACA recipients are indeed Dreamers. The term Dreamers does apply to DACA recipients who would benefit from the DREAM Act. The legislation would legally enshrine the protections of DACA and was introduced by Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois in 2001. Over the course of 19 years, the piece of legislation has not moved despite the overwhelming support from the American public.

People watching the town hall were quick to call out President Trump.

People are not letting President Trump get away with trying to rewrite history about DACA. His administration is the one trying to strip DACA recipients of their protections. At one point, President Trump tried using DACA recipients as political pawns in an attempt to secure funding for his border wall.

Voters are calling on other voters to help protect the program in November.

The two nominees have very different DACA plans. President Trump has and will continue to try to take away the protections from DACA recipients. Former Vice President Joe Biden has a plan to offer citizenship to DACA recipients, something American voters support. DACA is a wildly popular program that gives some of the most vulnerable people in our society a chance to live a normal life.

READ: The Trump Administration Has Officially Rescinded DACA. Here’s What You Need To Know.

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