Tuesday, November 19, 2013

L.A. warehouse workers describe horrifying conditions, join strike line

Warehouse workers, striking port drivers and Teamsters walk the line yesterday.
Workers at two dangerous California warehouses that move Walmart goods marched with Teamsters and port drivers striking their facility yesterday. The port drivers walked off the job in their fight against payroll fraud and poverty wages, while the warehouse workers joined the picket to protest their horrific working conditions.

Our friends at Warehouse Workers United tell us about those conditions: workers trapped inside containers, blocked exits, men and women sharing one bathroom and inadequate safety gear. On Friday, the workers filed complaints with  the California Division of Occupational Safety and Health, or Cal/OSHA. On Monday they spoke out. It was the first time non-union warehouse workers exposed working conditions in the port area.

The two warehouses are in Carson, Calif. They are Pacer International, Inc., and American Logistics International, Inc. Port drivers, supported by Teamsters, walked off the job at American Logistics International yesterday.

According to Warehouse Workers United:
Warehouse workers are told to clean a mysterious oil-like substance, men and women must share a single bathroom and workers are forced to illuminate dark shipping containers with the light on their cell phones at massive Walmart-contracted warehouses near the Ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles... 
“We deserve a safe work place where we are treated with dignity and respect,” said Susan Gutierrez , who is a warehouse worker at American Logistics.
It was a bad day for Walmart. Not only were port drivers who haul Walmart goods on strike, but it was announced the NLRB would prosecute the retailer for retaliating against 117 Walmart strikers, workers walked off the job at Walmarts in Pennsylvania and Ohio and news spread widely about a Walmart's food drive for its own employees.

Couldn't happen to a nicer company.