Monday, September 17, 2012

Walmart Warehouse Strike Spreads to Illinois

(at last report, the warehouse workers have returned to work. Actions are being planned this week in Chicago.)

Illinois Workers Walk Off the Job Following Similar Action in Southern California
IL Media Contacts: Leah Fried, Warehouse Workers for Justice,  
Mark Meinster, Warehouse Workers for Justice
CA Media Contact:  Elizabeth Brennan  213-999-2164

For Immediate Release: Monday, Sept. 17, 2012

CHICAGO --- Workers at a key Wal-Mart distribution center in Elwood, Illinois joined warehouse worker from Mira Loma, CA on strike to protest illegal retaliation and other labor abuses.  Today they will visit Walmart's regional offices in Rosemont, IL to deliver tens of thousands of signatures in support of the workers.

On September 12th, warehouse workers in Southern California walked off the job to protest their employers, NFI and Warestaff, for retaliation.  The California workers also move Walmart goods.  Follow this link for more information about the Southern California strike by workers at Walmart warehouses.
In Illinois, workers walked off the job on Saturday September 15th to protest intimidation and retaliation against workers, following the filing of a federal lawsuit on September 13th by workers against Wal-Mart contractor Roadlink Workforce Solutions for wage theft.  It is the sixth lawsuit against a Walmart contractor at their Elwood warehouse. 

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.

Wal-Mart 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 Wal-Mart warehouse for labor violations.

Warehouse workers labor under extreme temperatures lifting thousands of boxes that can weigh up to 250lbs 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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