imc indymedia

Los Angeles Indymedia : Activist News

white themeblack themered themetheme help
About Us Contact Us Calendar Publish RSS
Features
latest news
best of news
syndication
commentary


KILLRADIO

VozMob

ABCF LA

A-Infos Radio

Indymedia On Air

Dope-X-Resistance-LA List

LAAMN List




IMC Network:

Original Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: ambazonia canarias estrecho / madiaq kenya nigeria south africa canada: hamilton london, ontario maritimes montreal ontario ottawa quebec thunder bay vancouver victoria windsor winnipeg east asia: burma jakarta japan korea manila qc europe: abruzzo alacant andorra antwerpen armenia athens austria barcelona belarus belgium belgrade bristol brussels bulgaria calabria croatia cyprus emilia-romagna estrecho / madiaq euskal herria galiza germany grenoble hungary ireland istanbul italy la plana liege liguria lille linksunten lombardia london madrid malta marseille nantes napoli netherlands nice northern england norway oost-vlaanderen paris/Île-de-france patras piemonte poland portugal roma romania russia saint-petersburg scotland sverige switzerland thessaloniki torun toscana toulouse ukraine united kingdom valencia latin america: argentina bolivia chiapas chile chile sur cmi brasil colombia ecuador mexico peru puerto rico qollasuyu rosario santiago tijuana uruguay valparaiso venezuela venezuela oceania: adelaide aotearoa brisbane burma darwin jakarta manila melbourne perth qc sydney south asia: india mumbai united states: arizona arkansas asheville atlanta austin baltimore big muddy binghamton boston buffalo charlottesville chicago cleveland colorado columbus dc hawaii houston hudson mohawk kansas city la madison maine miami michigan milwaukee minneapolis/st. paul new hampshire new jersey new mexico new orleans north carolina north texas nyc oklahoma philadelphia pittsburgh portland richmond rochester rogue valley saint louis san diego san francisco san francisco bay area santa barbara santa cruz, ca sarasota seattle tampa bay tennessee urbana-champaign vermont western mass worcester west asia: armenia beirut israel palestine process: fbi/legal updates mailing lists process & imc docs tech volunteer projects: print radio satellite tv video regions: oceania united states topics: biotech

Surviving Cities

www.indymedia.org africa: canada: quebec east asia: japan europe: athens barcelona belgium bristol brussels cyprus germany grenoble ireland istanbul lille linksunten nantes netherlands norway portugal united kingdom latin america: argentina cmi brasil rosario oceania: aotearoa united states: austin big muddy binghamton boston chicago columbus la michigan nyc portland rochester saint louis san diego san francisco bay area santa cruz, ca tennessee urbana-champaign worcester west asia: palestine process: fbi/legal updates process & imc docs projects: radio satellite tv
printable version - js reader version - view hidden posts - tags and related articles

Warehouses, Workers & Wal-Mart

by Bob Maschi Thursday, Jul. 19, 2012 at 3:37 PM
bmaschi@yahoo.com

A group of workers for a warehouse that works exclusively for Wal-Mart invade the management offices with a list of demands that included crazy things like less dangerous conditions, hours that didn’t stretch from way before dark to way after dark, pay that met the legal definition of a wage and an end to global hunger (well, not really the last one—yet!).

Warehouses, Workers ...
nfi.jpg, image/jpeg, 640x480

Warehouses, Workers & Wal-Mart

Bob Maschi



I recently teamed up with Warehouse Workers United as they acted against one of the local warehouses. The place is called, NFI Crossdock and it exclusively serves that evil menace known as ‘Wal-Mart.’

Wal-Mart’s low prices come at a cost. The workers who are part of their supply chain, which includes numerous warehouses in southern California, are subject to insanely low wages, horrid working conditions and abuse. While these people are not directly employed by Wal-Mart, they are an important part of Wal-Mart’s corporate strategy to drive American wages down to third-world levels.

There were over 75 of us, a full third women, mostly warehouse workers with a few family members and other supporters. Many were more comfortable with Spanish than English and I only spotted one Starbucks-to-go, a real oddity for southern California. We all wore distinctive blue t-shirts marking us as supporters of Warehouse Workers United.

These people are the working poor. Many of them hope, someday, to be financially stable enough to live paycheck to paycheck. They have very little and were going to risk it all by marching into the Wal-Mart affiliated warehouse to demand better and safer working conditions and the pay they’d been promised —instead of the less-than-minimum wage they often received.

They were well aware of the potential consequences. They could be fired on the spot or forced out of their work in the near future for some silly, made-up reason like wearing a blue shirt or blinking at the sun. But what these workers lack in cash, they make up for in bravery. They are heroes and there was no doubt that as long as one of them went through with the plan, all of them would.

Waiting for the bus, they mingled in groups of 3 or 4, chatting away and laughing a lot. They laughed at their lot in life. They laughed at being nervous. They laughed because the rented bus had broken down (it would not go in reverse and so someone shouted, “Always forward!” in very good English I’ll add).

The back-up bus arrived (Get it? The ‘back-up’ bus?) and we piled in to join a short convoy over to the warehouse. There, we piled back out and began a march through the tar-skinned parking lot, past rows of Wal-Mart trucks, beyond a disinterested construction crew and right on by the puzzled face of a uniformed security guard—who was also, surely, getting paid less than what she deserved. Eventually we were walking four abreast down a corridor only wide enough for two. And given that warehouse workers are not usually small-framed, I’m betting that we bowed those cinder block walls out a little bit. We kept on marching right up into the administration section where a list of demands was read out. Loud.

The workers demanded crazy things like less dangerous conditions, hours that didn’t stretch from way before dark to way after dark, pay that met the legal definition of a wage and an end to global hunger (well, not really the last one—yet!). Then we shouted out some inspiring chants (what rhymes with ‘Wal-Mart ducks’?) before following our bread crumbs past the neat rows of shiny Wal-Mart trucks, past the relieved security guard, and past the newly arrived Sherriff whose only company was his little squad car, all the way back to the bus.

Since then, conditions at the warehouse have improved a little. There’s been a half-assed attempt to improve job safety, the workers are being treated with a little more respect and there’s been more care given to obeying the law. Did this all happen because the owners hadn’t been aware of the miserable conditions and were thankful that the matters were brought to their attention?

Hell no!



What the owners hadn’t been aware of was the fact that their workers were smart and had been organizing, that they had a lot of friends and that they had cojones down to their ankles (my Spanish is severely limited so I’m not sure what the female equivalent would be but consider it included!).



Bob Maschi is Secretary of Warehouse Workers Resource Center (WWRC). WWRC provides classes in ESL, Health & Safety and Wage & Hour Rights to warehouse workers in southern California. It also supplies emergency funds to workers who are retaliated against for their organizing efforts. WWRC (501c3 non-profit status pending) is in dire need of funds. Non-deductible donations can be made via Paypal through this website: http://www.centrobodeguero.org/



Report this post as:

Local News

Change Links September 2018 posted S02 10:22PM

More Scandals Rock Southern California Nuke Plant San Onofre A30 11:09PM

Site Outage Friday A30 3:49PM

Change Links August 2018 A14 1:56AM

Setback for Developer of SC Farm Land A12 11:09PM

More problems at Shutdown San Onofre Nuke J29 10:40PM

Change Links 2018 July posted J09 8:27PM

More Pix: "Families Belong Together," Pasadena J02 7:16PM

"Families Belong Together" March, Pasadena J02 7:08PM

Short Report on the Families Belong Together Protest in Los Angeles J30 11:26PM

Summer 2018 National Immigrant Solidarity Network News Alert! J11 6:58AM

Watch the Debate: Excluded Candidates for Governor of California M31 5:20AM

Change Links June 2018 posted M28 7:41AM

The Montrose Peace Vigil at 12 Years M22 8:01PM

Unity Archive Project M21 9:42AM

Dianne Feinstein's Promotion of War, Secret Animal Abuse, Military Profiteering, Censorshi M17 10:22PM

CA Senate Bill 1303 would require an independent coroner rather than being part of police M10 9:08PM

Three years after OC snitch scandal, no charges filed against sheriffs deputies M10 8:57PM

California police agencies violate Brown Act (open meetings) M02 8:31PM

Insane Company Wants To Send Nuke Plant Waste To New Mexico A29 11:47PM

Change Links May 2018 A27 8:40AM

Worker-Owned Car Wash on Vermont Closed A27 5:37AM

GUIDE TO REBEL CITY LOS ANGELES AVAILABLE A13 12:39AM

lausd whistle blower A11 6:58AM

Website Upgrade A10 10:02AM

Help KCET and UCLA identify 60s-70s Chicano images A04 8:02PM

UCLA Luskin: Casting Youth Justice in a Different Light A02 6:58PM

Change Links April 2018 A01 6:27PM

More Local News...

Other/Breaking News

Abolir l'économie S18 11:18AM

The Dictatorship of Corporations S17 5:26PM

18 Lethal Consequences Of Hunting S17 3:13PM

Paraphysique de l'outplacement déontologue S15 6:51AM

Creative Destruction Hack Mod Generator S15 3:49AM

Shopping du bashing S14 8:42AM

After Lehman Brothers, Experts Say Global Financial Crisis Can Happen Again S13 8:28PM

“Animaniacs in Concert!” Starring Voice Legend Rob Paulsen S12 9:30PM

Probabilités de fin d'humanité S12 6:49AM

Florida Area of Migrant Farmworkers Denied Right to Construct Health Clinic near NaplesCIW S11 2:57AM

Propagande de virus, virus de propagande S10 7:34AM

Steer clear of work morality! S09 12:10PM

Sweatshop Lodge Ceremony Continues in US Fed Prisons Led by Inmates S08 6:17PM

Paraphysique de l'origami S08 7:11AM

The Shortwave Report 09/07/18 Listen Globally! S06 11:23PM

August 2018 Honduras Coup update S06 12:28PM

Du réussissement putréfié S06 10:55AM

Brett Kavanaugh Filled The 5th Circuit With Execution Judges S06 6:14AM

Log S06 4:25AM

Augusta Georgia Woman Gets 5 Year Prison Sentence for Writing About Russians Crime Acts S05 8:29AM

Paraphysique de contextualité S05 8:29AM

Crisis Regulation in Global Capitalism S03 3:39PM

Ex-voto de réification S03 10:24AM

Please Oppose Warmonger, Execution and Torture Supporting Bush Operative Brett Kavanaugh A31 10:45PM

Paraphysique d'exploitation occultation A31 10:24PM

Ryan Zinke Is Charging Taxpayers For A Trophy Hunters' Council A31 2:10PM

Is the Financial Crash 2.0 Coming? A31 10:07AM

The Shortwave Report 08/31/18 Listen Globally! A30 11:44PM

More Breaking News...
© 2000-2018 Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Unless otherwise stated by the author, all content is free for non-commercial reuse, reprint, and rebroadcast, on the net and elsewhere. Opinions are those of the contributors and are not necessarily endorsed by the Los Angeles Independent Media Center. Running sf-active v0.9.4 Disclaimer | Privacy