Monday, January 7, 2013

Woot! Wal-Mart to be added to wage theft suit by Calif. warehouse workers

Hah! It looks as if a U.S. District Court judge will include Wal-Mart as a defendant in a lawsuit over wage theft in California warehouses.

Josh Eidelson at The Nation reported today that Judge Christina Snyder signaled she'll grant a request to add  Wal-Mart in the class-action suit charging the retailers' subcontractors ripped off workers. The suit is  Everardo CARRILLO, et al., v. SCHNEIDER LOGISTICS, INC.

Warehouse Workers United, which the Teamsters support through the Change To Win federation, is supporting the workers.

Eidelson reports,
...the lawsuit was brought by warehouse workers moving Walmart goods in Southern California’s Inland Empire. The workers were employed by staffing companies, which were subcontracted by the logistics company Schneider, which was hired by Walmart. In 2011, after workers filed a federal lawsuit and instigated a state investigation of alleged wage and hour violations, subcontractor Rogers-Premier announced a mass layoff of one warehouse’s entire workforce. Those terminations were blocked last February, by a rare federal district court restraining order.
Here's why Wal-Mart should be included in the suit:
...the workers exclusively moved Walmart products, and that Walmart instructed Schneider when to refill ink in its printers, and how many workers to assign to unload a particular truck...(and) Walmart owns all equipment in the buildings, dictates that they be run in exactly the same manner as Walmart’s non-subcontracted warehouses, and keeps a full-time Walmart manager on site.