Archive for May 2011
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Workers filed a class-action lawsuit today in federal court alleging a company that provides temporary staffing for a Wal-Mart warehouse in Will County denied workers benefits.
The workers, Willie Jones and LaTasha Davis, accuse Georgia-based Simos Simos Insourcing Solutions of soliciting workers with the promise of paid vacation.
“Apparently that was an empty promise,” said Jones, who along with Davis, was a temporary worker at the southwest suburban Elwood warehouse.
On Thursday April 28, 10 workers from a Kraft-Cadbury warehouse in the Chicago suburb of Joliet filed discrimination claims with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleging race, gender and age discrimination. Managers have done nothing to address graffiti depicting swastikas and the letters “KKK” in break rooms and bathrooms at the warehouse, the workers say, or to deal with a worker who flies a Confederate flag on his truck.
April 28 happened to be the 40th anniversary of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). When OSHA was founded, the warehousing and international goods movement or “logistics” industry was tiny compared to today. Now, it is the major employer in many areas, including the southwest Chicago suburbs and California’s Inland Empire.
While death and injury in the sector would have hardly been a blip on the radar screen when OSHA was founded, today the transportation and warehousing industry has the second highest annual number of worker deaths, behind construction, according to 2009 statistics noted in a report released in March by Occidental College and the University of Southern California: “Global Trade Impacts: Addressing the Health, Social and Environmental Consequences of Moving International Freight Through Our Communities.”