Thursday, June 12, 2014

Hoffa comes to California to fight abuse of temporary workers at Taylor Farms

Teamsters General President Jim Hoffa today told Taylor Farms workers in Sacramento that the Teamsters are backing them in their fight to join a union and to change the law to protect temporary workers.
Teamsters President Jim Hoffa with Taylor Farms workers today in Sacramento.

Hoffa met with workers before speaking at a news conference on the steps of the Capitol. Taylor Farms worker Armida Galeana thanked Hoffa for joining the fight. Maria Carranza fought back tears when telling him her story about her treatment at Taylor Farms.

Jose Gonzalez works at Taylor Farms, but is employed by a labor contractor called slingshot. He said he's been a temp workers for 10 years.
Why not pay me the money going to the temporary agency for my labor? As a temp worker I have no health care, sick or vacation pay or retirement security. I have no future. It’s like I’m a modern-day slave.
Hoffa said,
While there are 900 of you at Taylor Farms, you have 1.4 million Teamsters with you. 
California Teamsters are working with Taylor Farms workers to press for a bill that would protect temporary workers from abuse by employers. The bill, AB 1897, was approved by the Assembly and passed out of the Senate Labor Committee yesterday. It would hold companies accountable for serious violations of the rights of workers on their premises that are committed by their own labor suppliers.

Hoffa called it a shell game that contributes to today's jobs crisis.
More and more people are working harder with less to show for it. Their low wages, unhealthy working conditions, and lack of benefits subsidize the greatest wealth at the top in the history of the world. Holding corporations accountable for violations of basic worker rights on their premises would be an important step in the right direction.
Taylor Farms is the world’s largest salad processor, supplying to McDonald's, KFC, Pizza Hut, Dominos, Subway, Darden Restaurants (Olive Garden and Red Lobster), and many other restaurant and food chains. At its processing plant in Tracy, a majority of the people who do the work actually are employed by two temporary staffing agencies and not by Taylor Farms. Slingshot has its office on the company’s premises, and Taylor Farms is its only customer.

While its workers generated $1.8 billion in revenue for the company in 2012, Taylor Farms claims that it has no responsibility for how its “temporary” workers are treated. Many are paid the minimum wage and even that gets stolen from them. They've been fired for getting injured or ill,
discriminated against for their ethnicity and sexual orientation and confronted by dangerous working conditions. They often have to provide their own safety equipment like gloves and warm clothes. They're even denied breaks to use the bathroom.

Read more about the corporate scam that lets corporations abuse temporary workers here.