By Sarah Ahmed
A group of workers at Frankie’s Fun Park in Huntersville, a suburb of Charlotte, North Carolina, staged a walkout on May 22 after their complaints against an unnamed white manager making racist comments against Black workers were repeatedly ignored by the company. Frankie’s, an amusement park chain with five locations across North Carolina, retaliated against the predominantly Black workers by firing them for their act of protest.
Dajah Austin, a former employee and one of the spontaneous organizers, shared footage of the walkout on TikTok and expressed the workers’ grievances. In her video, Austin states there was one particular manager, unidentified at this time, who made many workers feel uncomfortable with racist and sexist comments, and that every employee she knew had a least one example of these situations.
The manager made several remarks about Black workers’ hair, such as telling worker Jordan Guine that his hair was ‘ghetto’ for being in locs (hair styled by locking or braiding), and called another worker, Alyssia Faustia, a “nappy-head,” saying that she had “nappy hair like Whitney Houston.”
This manager also told Black workers that they “looked like a bunch of monkeys getting ready to get whipped.” All three workers said they brought their grievances to another manager at Frankie’s Fun Park, who did nothing to address the other manager’s reactionary comments.
To express their grievances, workers organized a plan to write them down on index cards and set them on a table in the break room, and called general manager Jason Printzenhoff in to have a discussion. When confronted with the grievances, Pritzenhoff simply baited the workers, telling them, “If you guys walk out, there’s no coming back.” In response, more than a dozen workers immediately clocked out and walked off the job.
Regarding his decision to walk out, Guine told monopoly media WSOC-TV, “It was painful seeing that nothing would change.”
In interviews with ruling-class news outlets, Frankie’s owner Doug Godley was quick to blame workers, falsely stating that the company had never received any complaints about the racist manager, adding that the workers should have contacted human resources.
According to a facebook post from May 28 on Frankie’s facebook page, the company claims that the manager who workers protested, “has been suspended without pay until further investigation.” The company did not comment on the workers who they had fired.
Austin reaffirmed her decision to walk out in a message to her former co-workers, saying, “It’s hard to leave a job I’ve been at since before the building was opened, but like I said, my morals are higher than my pay.”
Tribune encourages our readers to donate to the workers’ fundraiser by sending money to Cash App user $slaydaj, which is managed by Austin on behalf of her fired co-workers.
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