Warehouse Worker Strike Spreads to Illinois

Illinois Workers Walk Off the Job Following Similar Action in Southern California

IL Media Contacts: Leah Fried, Warehouse Workers for Justice 773-550-3022, leah@warehouseworker.org
Mark Meinster, Warehouse Workers for Justice 773-405-3022, mark@warehouseworker.org
CA Media Contact: Elizabeth Brennan, 213-999-2164

CHICAGO — Workers at a key Walmart distribution center in Elwood, Illinois went on strike today to protest illegal retaliation and other labor abuses.

This comes just days after warehouse workers in Southern California walked off the job at an NFI warehouse in Mira Loma, California to call for an end to retaliation and unfair labor practices. Workers are employed by NFI and a temporary labor agency, Warestaff. Workers there move Walmart goods, but the retail giant has ignored repeated attempts to meet and address the inhumane and illegal conditions in its contracted warehouses.

In Illinois, workers walked off the job Saturday to protest intimidation and retaliation against workers, following the Thursday filing of a federal lawsuit by workers against Walmart contractor Roadlink Workforce Solutions for non-payment for all hours worked, paying less than the minimum wage and non-payment of overtime worked.

“We are on strike to protest violations of our rights. We are tired of retaliation and threats every time we speak up about unsafe working conditions and other abuses,” said Eric Skoglund, a striking warehouse worker.

Walmart has been harshly criticized for the legal violations of its contractors and towards its store associates. In California, contractors at warehouses serving Walmart were fined hundreds of thousands of dollars for violations of workers’ rights and a federal judge issued several orders and injunctions in favor of the workers, including an injunction stop the mass firing of workers who had filed the lawsuit. In Illinois, a total of six lawsuits have been filed against contractors operating in the Walmart warehouse for labor violations.

Warehouse workers labor under extreme temperatures lifting thousands of boxes that can weigh up to 250 lbs each. Workplace injuries are common; workers rarely earn a living wage or have any benefits. Warehouse Workers for Justice is an Illinois worker center dedicated to fighting for quality jobs in the distribution industry that can sustain families and communities.

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