On Tuesday 31 July Indianapolis welder Antoine Dangerfield filmed what became a viral video, watched over 2 million times in two days, of a wildcat strike by Latino construction workers building a new UPS hub.
In the video and in a subsequent interview with Jacobin magazine Dangerfield explains that some Latino workers, working for a different contractor but in the same hub were ordered to go home (effectively sacked) by a white boss he calls racist.
Dangerfield explained to Jacobin that workers had disobeyed an order from this boss: ″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.″
The video shows the workers walking out, Dangerfield estimates more than 100 walked off the job. The sight of the workers all walking off site affects Dangerfield whose commentary describes the sense of power. After the Latino workers have walked out Dangerfield′s video tours the empty construction site — “Ain’t no grinding, cutting, welding — this motherfucker is dead-ass quiet. The Mexicans shut this motherfucker down.”
The safety coordinator has apparently been sacked.
Dangerfield was also sacked for posting the video. He also says the company offered him $250 to take the video down, but by that point it had been shared beyond it′s original posting. A GoFundMe has been set up to support Dangerfield, who has a son.
• Original video: https://youtu.be/Ykb6Nk9_PjI
• GoFundMe: https://www.gofundme.com/z9h8cc-support-antoine-fired-4-strike-vid
•Jacobin interview: https://jacobinmag.com/2018/08/wildcat-strike-indianapolis-shut-down