Moving company employees refuse to work on Juneteenth

Movers upset over no holiday pay
Movers upset over no holiday pay
Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 7:51 PM CDT

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - Some south Nashville movers are refusing to work after supervisors told them they wouldn’t receive holiday pay for working on Juneteenth.

The strike is affecting dozens of customers and leaving moving crews frustrated.

More than 60% of the employees at Black Tie Movers are African American and they told News4 they are outraged that Juneteenth is not being recognized, but company leaders said there’s a misunderstanding.

The start of what would soon turn into a four-hour strike.

“We just want to be heard,” Bryson Donnell said.

Donnell has worked for Black Tie Moving for more than two years.

“We go out every day and work these long hours,” Donnell said.

Hours Bryson gets paid for moving pounds of materials in and out of homes and businesses. Now he and other movers like Miquel King said they’re not getting fair wages.

“We came here this morning wanting to work, but we are trying to get paid for Juneteenth and we were told that we can’t,” King said.

With Juneteenth now a federal holiday, movers expected to be paid time and a half for working, but company leaders refused and now the movers are taking a stand.

“We called in the owners. We refuse to go to work and the trucks that were out they came back, and we just stood here until the COO and the CEO came to talk to us,” King said.

More than 17 employees scheduled for different moving jobs refused to work.

“Private companies are not required to pay time and a half to W-2 employees on holidays,” Black Tie Movers CEO Jonathan Caldwell said.

Caldwell said they don’t pay time and a half for working during any other holiday and Juneteenth is no different.

“The time and a half, I’m assuming, and I haven’t dug deep into our office this morning, but I’m assuming that is just a misunderstanding from the employees,” Caldwell said.

A misunderstanding that left employees outraged, customers disappointed and many people losing money.

“It just kind of hurt because so many African Americans work here, and it feels like it’s unfair that the owners want all the profit, even on a simple holiday,” Donnell said.

Those employees eventually went back to work. It’s not clear if there was a resolution about pay.

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