Things That Matter

7 Undocumented Workers Were Fired From A Virginia Trump Winery After The Harvest Was Over

In 2018, vineyards in Virginia had an unfortunate season. The area experienced too much rain. Local winemakers called it the “toughest” season in the past two decades and that the harsh weather made it, so they produced less wine because so many grapes were lost. This season, however — because climate change has brought forth such unpredictable weather forecasts —  Virginia vineyards had a very successful season. With such a positive harvest, one would assume that vineyard workers would get some kind of bonus. Instead, they got fired.

Seven undocumented employees that worked at a Trump Virginia winery were fired before the end of the year because they were not U.S. citizens. 

Credit: @kylegriffin1 / Twitter

The Washington Post reports that the firing came at the end of December, before the start of 2020, which is odd timing considering other undocumented employees at other Trump properties almost a year ago. 

Back at the start of 2019, undocumented employees that worked at a Trump golf course in New Jersey were fired for lack of documentation to work in the U.S. So far, most of the workers that were fired back then said that the higher-ups, including President Donald Trump and his children who own the properties, were aware that they had undocumented workers on their payroll. Even then, the firings were odd, considering the president has been on an anti-immigrant, anti-Latino, and anti-undocumented agenda since before his election. Yet all of the firings, even the most recent ones, seem to come when it’s most convenient for the company. 

The undocumented workers were fired at the end of the harvest season when they had completed their work on the vineyard. 

Credit: @swimmerbr78 / Twitter

Workers told the Washington Post that while they had anxiety about losing their jobs all year, especially after other undocumented employees at other properties were fired. But work went on as usual at the vineyard. The workers also report that earlier in December, Eric Trump, who is listed as the president of some of the Trump properties, visited the vineyard and was very gracious to his employees. The Post was in touch with several of the undocumented employees for months prior to their firing. 

“He gave me his hand,” Omar Miranda, one of the employees that was fired, recalled to the Post about Eric’s visit. Miranda had won a raffle, and Eric shook his hand and added, “Eric is like a co-worker.” Then, a couple of weeks later, he was fired. 

The workers said that Trump, his family, and management knew exactly what they were doing when they waited to fire them after the grape season had ended. 

Credit: @CalawayJaneen / Twitter

“They didn’t make this decision in the summer because they needed us a lot then,” Miranda told the Post. Another employee said, “I think they wanted to get their product out well, the grapes, to make sure that was taken care of, and once things were slow, they could fire us all.”

The publication asked the Trump organization about why they waited so long to fire these undocumented employees, and their statement was the same as it was last year when they fired employees at the golf course: “Consistent with our efforts, we will immediately terminate any individual who has provided fake identification in order to unlawfully gain employment.” 

People on social media expressed their anger over the timing of this firing as well as Trump’s treatment of their undocumented workers. 

Credit: @CMCRET / Twitter

Chef José Andrés tweeted, “Mr. ⁦@realDonaldTrump⁩ why instead of firing them 3 years into your presidency, you pass immigration reform, giving #DREAMers and undocumented the place in the USA they deserve?”

“Not only are trump companies still employing undocumented immigrants, they hold off firing them in order take advantage of their labor as long as possible,” another tweeted. “He has no shame.”

As we noted earlier, this season Virginia experienced one of the best grape seasons in years. So it makes sense management didn’t want to fire employees until after the harvest to take advantage of the booming business. 

Credit: @EdHull8 / Twitter

“You have the perfect alignment of rainfall, sun, wind, weather, to where the quality of your grapes are the highest you’ve seen in a really long time,” Winemaker Emily Pelton told WHSV3 News.

Perhaps if the season had been a washout as it was in 2018, the undocumented employees would have been fired earlier in the year. We guess there’s always a silver lining. 

READ: With Reports Of Trump Employing Undocumented Workers, CBP Was Asked Why Trump’s Properties Have Not Been Raided

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Coinstar Comes Through For Man Who Received Last Paycheck Of 91,500 Pennies

Things That Matter

Coinstar Comes Through For Man Who Received Last Paycheck Of 91,500 Pennies

Mark Walker / Getty Images

After Andreas Flaten’s former employer dumped at least 90,000 pennies on his driveway last month as a form of final payment for his work at an auto shop, Coinstar is stepping up to help.

The company picked up Flaten’s coins on Thursday and rounded up the amount to give him a $1,000 check. Flaten had been spending an hour or two every night trying to clean the pennies, which he stored in a wheelbarrow in his garage.

They also made donations to two charities of Flaten’s choosing: two animal shelters. 

“Coinstar has been in the coin business for 30 years and we process approximately 41 billion coins annually – so picking up 91,000 pennies was all in a day’s work,” Coinstar CEO Jim Gaherity said in a statement.

Original Story Published March 25, 2021:

Quitting a job isn’t always easy, quite often one of the parties is left upset or angry. But the breakup of a Georgia man and a car repair shop has taken things to new depressing low. He was Paid his fianl Paycheck With 91,500 Pennies

Sure, the man received his money and it’s all totally legal but it still sucks the way that he was ‘paid’ and the Internet is rightfully freaking out on the man’s behalf.

Georgia man is paid his final paycheck with 91,500 pennies.

A Georgia man, Andreas Flaten, who had been waiting on his final $915 paycheck from when he quit his job at the A OK Walker Luxury Autoworks, was finally paid but not in a very nice way. Sure, 91,500 pennies are real and actual money but it’s not exactly a convenient way to get paid.

The coins, he said, were dumped on his drive way and also are apparently covered in an oily substance he suspects might be power-steering fluid. The coin drop was discovered on March 12. Flaten told the New York Times he believes the payment was taken as a punishment after he quit his job and demanded the company pay him his final paycheck.

Flaten said the pennies were delivered by someone who he believes to be a current employee of the shop at 7 P.M. ET on March 12. The load, which weighed more than 500 lbs., came with a short, obscenity-ridden note, he said.

It sounds like the auto shop is a pretty toxic place to work.

Flaten said he quit the job because of broken promises over when he could leave each day to pick up his child from day care. He gave notice that he planned to quit late last year, but left earlier after further disagreements at the job. When he did not receive his final paycheck, he filed a claim with the U.S. Department of Labor, which reached out to the repair shop three times.

Miles Walker, the owner of the repair shop told CBS46, an Atlanta TV station, “I don’t know if I did that or not, I don’t really remember. … It doesn’t matter. He got paid. That’s all that matters. He’s a f*****g weenie for even bringing it up.”

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Tate’s Cookies Threatened to Report Undocumented Workers to ICE If They Unionized

Culture

Tate’s Cookies Threatened to Report Undocumented Workers to ICE If They Unionized

Photo via chocolleto/Instagram

Fans of the crispy, buttery Tate’s cookies might be sad when they hear this news. According to current employees, the popular cookie business has been threatening employees who are trying to unionize.

According to multiple employees, Tate’s cookies threatened to contact ICE if workers vote to unionize next month.

According to Gothamist, most of Tate Bake Shop’s 432 employees are undocumented workers. But the National Labor Relations Act says that undocumented workers have a lawful right to unionize.

The powerhouse baked goods company Mondelēz International owns Tate’s cookies. Additionally, Mondelēz owns other popular brands like Oreo and Chips Ahoy. Local union leaders have called the company “anti-union on steroids”.

Once Tate’s cookies heard rumblings of their workers unionizing, however, they hired an anti-labor consultant. The consultant, Carlos Flores, brags on LinkedIn about keeping businesses “labor free”.

“They began threatening people based on their immigration status, telling them that if their documents are not in order and they attempted to join the labor union they would get deported,” said Eastern States’ Union president, Cosmo Lubrano.

The consultant allegedly told workers that he would review their documentation to see if “everything was in order”. If it wasn’t, he said ICE might “send them back”.

“Just because a worker wants to organize, wants to have representation doesn’t mean a company should make their life miserable,” said Julio, an undocumented worker, to The New York Times.

Tate’s cookies employees only began to discuss the possibility of unionizing when the pandemic hit. Workers felt that the cookie company might not protect them should they fall ill.

“We were in the heart of the pandemic at that time and they didn’t know any of the rules that applied to them,” said Anthony Miranti, an Eastern States’ union delegate.

“Will they get paid if they have to self-quarantine? How do they get safety equipment? They were telling us about how they’re all at minimum wage and needed more paid time off and there was just nobody to listen to their problems.”

Officially, Mondelēz denies all claims or threatening workers. They released a statement saying: “Any allegation that the company has violated any aspect of the National Labor Relations Act is untrue. Tate’s prides itself on treating all its employees with respect, and we have fostered over many years an inclusive, supportive, caring work environment and culture with our employees.”

Despite the threats to their livelihood, many workers still believe unionizing will ultimately be beneficial.

“I’ve spoken to a lot of people who work in union shops. They say things are better,” said an undocumented worker by the name of Catalina to the New York Times. “Why not give this an opportunity?”

As Miranti says, “I think the workers that produce these products should be able to put their heads down on their pillows at night and know their job is secured, that their family has the best coverage out there, that they’ll have a pension to retire on someday.”

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