Owner of Dino's Gyros, 'proud immigrant,' responds to story of fired immigrant protester

Dino's Gyros' founder says he's a "proud immigrant," and politics wasn't part of the employee losing his job.

Dino's Gyros' founder says he's a "proud immigrant," and politics wasn't part of the employee losing his job. Flickr/Michael Hicks

Dino's Gyros owner Constantin Adamidis wants people to get the whole story.

That includes his own story: A "proud immigrant" who came to the United States from Greece "with $20 in his pocket," and has worked his way up to owning a chain of Mediterranean fast-casual restaurants in the Twin Cities suburbs. 

Constantin (aka "Dino") shared that part of his biography in a statement released yesterday, responding to City Pages' story of an employee's firing for taking part in the "Day Without Immigrants" protest last week

Dino "knows first-hand what it means to be an immigrant and the challenges faced by immigrants in the United States," the statement reads. The man whose case became a rallying cause for advocates with the Centro de Trabajadores Unides en Lucha (CTUL), was fired for insubordination, plain and simple, according to Adamidis.

Here's Adamidis' statement in full:

"The individual that is alleging that we fired him for participating in the ‘Day Without Immigrants’ event is not sharing the facts around this situation. He did not inform anyone he was not planning to come to work on the 16th. When the employee did not report for his shift, management called and left him a message asking where he was.
The employee did not respond ot the voice mail message, so at 10:30 a.m., management sent him a text asking if he was coming in. He responded via text with one word: ”Naw.” Management responded via text that if he did not come in by 4 pm, he was no longer employed by Dino’s Fresh Mediterranean Restaurants.
Management gave him yet another opportunity and called him at 1:30 pm, asking him to explain why he was not coming in. He simply said, “I’m not coming in, take me off the schedule.” This individual was given three opportunities to tell us why he was not reporting for his shift.
Minnesota is an ‘At Will State’ – our company policy states that if an employee simply does not show up for work or doesn’t provide any reason for being a ‘no show,’ it can lead up to a termination.
There was a meeting this morning with the CTUL and the employee. This individual was offered his job back, as Dino’s Fresh Mediterranean Restaurants wanted to demonstrate their support of worker’s rights, even though prior to termination, the employee did not share his reason for being absent. We also feel the statement by the CTUL communications director Stephanie Gasca that was released to the media is inaccurate.
Gasca stated on behalf of the worker (who did not want to comment directly) that ‘out of that conversation [Dino’s owners] were educated around worker’s rights to go on strike, and that going forward they will respect worker’s rights to strike.’ Dino’s Fresh Mediterranean Restaurant is highly educated on the topic of worker’s rights and I am proud to say that in 39 years of business, we have never had a similar complaint or violation.
As an immigrant, worker’s rights are deeply important to me and to our company. We feel that the community has the right to know the facts.”

One last fact to round out Dino's side of the story: The worker who was let go might've had more than one reason for not taking his old job back. As City Pages reported yesterday, he'd already been offered a job with another business, and had accepted.