By guest contributor Angelina Newsom
There are around 350,000 workers expected to go on “strike” on International Workers’ Day, which is set to occur on May 1. Traditionally a day of demonstrations for various issues workers face, this year the day will focus on anti-Trump protests scheduled to happen across the United States.
Those expected to participate include fast food workers and unionized service workers. Similar to the “Day Without A Woman” protests, many plan to walk off the job for the day to participate in organized protests against President Donald Trump.
The subject of this year’s activism: President Trump’s hardline immigration policy. Somehow the President’s policies equate to stripping workers of their rights and safe working conditions.
Just to reiterate, the Trump Administration’s immigration policies crack down on illegal immigration, more specifically focusing on violent and drug related criminals.
Facebook has assured its staff that they won’t be punished for skipping work to participate in anti-Trump protests if they so choose. In fact, the media behemoth won’t even be requiring employees to give any notice for their absences to participate in demonstrations.
Taking further steps to stand behind their anti-Trump employees, Facebook has also extended protection to staff members of their vendors, vowing to investigate any instances where workers’ rights have been violated.
This includes security staff, janitors, bus-drivers, and others who work for Facebook as contractors on their campus.
A spokesman for Facebook says they’re “committed to fostering an inclusive workplace where employees feel comfortable expressing their opinions and speaking up. We support our people in recognizing International Workers’ Day and other efforts to raise awareness for safe and equitable employment conditions.”
It’s become increasingly important to preserve citizens’ rights to the First Amendment’s freedom of speech and right to peaceably assemble. Across the United States, many efforts have been made to shut down speaking events—mainly on college campuses—where the majority disagree.
However, taking steps to excuse workers for political reasons is irresponsible for a corporation as big as Facebook.
Bottom line: Interjecting politics into the workplace can have negative effects and create a hostile work environment for those who actually want to show up to work and I’m quite certain that not every staff member disagrees with the President.
Still, the move comes as no surprise as Facebook has previously criticized President Trump’s immigration agenda. By incorporating politics, an empire as vast and influential as Facebook sends a message that everyone else should follow suit.
While I’m pretty sure Facebook’s interests won’t be compromised by staff members skipping a day of work, there are much smaller businesses that would take a hit if their employees walked off the job for an entire day.
You see, there is this novel idea called leave and it takes many different forms; personal, sick, emergency, etc. Responsible employees should plan ahead for events they want to attend and ensure that their employers and coworkers have enough notice to cover down in their absence.
But I guess that makes too much sense to the protesting crowd, as the last few walk-out style temper tantrums—I mean demonstrations—have shown.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Angelina Newsom is an OpsLens Contributor and U.S. Army Veteran. She has ten years experience in the military, including a deployment to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. She studies Criminal Justice and is still active within the military community.