Workers Stand Up to Retaliation and Win

Warehouse workers filed charges to stop a recent wave of retaliation Wednesday and one worker was reinstated after being suspended indefinitely.

Workers have raised serious concerns about high temperatures, broken equipment, constant yelling and pressure from supervisors and frequent injuries inside warehouses that move Walmart goods. They filed an extensive complaint with the state of California July 18 about conditions at the NFI Crossdock, a warehouse in Eastvale, California. Warehouse operators wasted no time punishing those who stood up to improve conditions on the job.

In the warm California sun, Carlos Martinez heads back to work. Martinez was suspended indefinitely just days after speaking out for safety in the workplace.

“We are trying to make a difference and improve our jobs,” said Carlos Martinez, a warehouse worker at the NFI Crossdock. “In response our managers are making up reasons to suspend workers who are outspoken, changing up people’s assignment and trying to embarrass us if we speak up. I am not afraid.”

Martinez was suspended late last week after the he and about 20 other workers filed a serious complaint with Cal/OSHA. After workers delivered a copy of the anti-retaliation charges, he was immediately reinstated. He will be back at work Thursday, July 26.

Apolinar Rojas, who was injured while driving a forklift at the Crossdock, was required to work against his doctor’s orders. Immediately after the accident he was made to sit, broom in hand, in front of a managers’ office and mocked about his injuries. He is now on light duty while he recovers.

Workers who help staff the facility 24 hours a day, seven days a week unloading and loading Walmart goods filed charges with federal and state authorities in response to several instances of retaliation against several entities including Walmart, National Distribution Centers of Delaware, Inc., which operates the warehouse, and two staffing agencies, Warestaff, LLC, and Select Staffing, Inc., supply most of the workers on site.

*Update*

David Garcia, a second warehouse worker who was suspended after filing the complaint about health and safety, returned to work July 30. Workers – 2, Warehouse – 0!

Read more…

Working conditions at the NFI Crossdock are the subject of an investigative piece in the Guardian newspaper and reports in other news outlets including The New York Times and Univision.

Cal/OSHA is expected to fully investigate the warehouse and interview workers over the next several weeks.

Things happen fast in the warehouse.

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1 Comment on "Workers Stand Up to Retaliation and Win"

  1. Richard Crooksou | July 26, 2012 at 11:17 pm | Reply

    This is great now they need to take on the stores!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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