Dominick's worker suspended before layoff for YouTube parody

Dec. 28, 2013 at 11:41 PM
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CHICAGO, Dec. 28 (UPI) -- A Dominick's worker in Illinois says he was suspended just before being laid off by the grocery store chain's parent firm for posting a satiric YouTube video.

Steve Yamamoto posted his video, "Thanks Safeway," Friday, the day before Safeway shut down 72 Dominick's stores in the Chicago area, putting about 6,000 employees out of work, WMAQ-TV, Chicago, reported.

The video parodied the closures with a science fiction take on "how it really ends at Dominick's" that included stores exploding, dragons setting fires, helicopters crashing into the building and a spaceship destroying the store.

"We thought we were safe," text in the video reads. "Unfortunately, we were wrong, like, Miley Cyrus wrong."

Yamamoto said when he showed up to work his last day Saturday at a Glen Ellyn store, a manager told him he was suspended.

"My store manager got a phone call that she had to suspend me," he said. "I was like 'Are you serious? It's crazy as it is. I'm just dumbfounded."

Yamamoto said he was just trying to "make light of a bad situation."

"It was all in good fun," he said of his video. "I was expecting laughs from the employees, that's it."

Safeway Inc. could not be reached for comment, WMAQ-TV said.

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