Some WA businesses close, plan to lose workers for nationwide 'A Day Without Immigrants'

By: Joanna Small

Updated:
Thousands across the country and in Seattle have said they will not go to work Thursday.
 
Advocates are calling it “A Day Without Immigrants”— a nationwide strike.
 
Many big names in the restaurant industry have already taken to social media to say they support their workers and are closing for the day.
 
At Pam’s Kitchen in Wallingford, Anton 
 
Churaman, his mother and his sister immigrated to the US in 1995, and for nearly 15 years worked odd jobs.
 
“We came from zero; we cleaned people’s houses, toilets, whatever,” Churaman said, with the goal of building a Caribbean restaurant in Seattle.
 
“This is our heart, this is our soul, this is everything to my entire family,” Churaman said of Pam’s Kitchen.
 
The restaurant will be closed Thursday to give the community a taste of what it’s like to lose some of its flavor.
 
“We are immigrants and I think we add value,” Anton said.
 
Further north in Burlington, Carrie Omdal’s siding company will be open Thursday, but she knows few--if any--of her employees will be there.
 
She says 80 percent of her workforce are immigrants.
 
“We have quite a few from Russia, Ukraine, Mexico, El Salvador and one Moldovan,” Omdal said.
 
“Work will pretty much stop and it will be very difficult for that day, however I’m very excited they have the opportunity to be heard in Washington,” she said.
 
Omdal said she’s proud of her employees — her family participated in Seattle’s women’s march -- but unfortunately, there are still deadlines to be met.
 
“So I suspect we’ll probably be working a little bit on Saturday to make up for it,” Omdal concluded.
 
Omdal said her company has a project that's supposed to be completed by Friday; she's hoping the contractor will extend the deadline to Saturday.
 

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