November 30, 2015
By Joanne Powers, Workers Independent News
Warehouse Workers at California Cartage in the Los Angeles port neighborhood of Wilmington faced retaliation from their employer after temporary workers joined direct hires in a pair of three-day strikes in September and October.
The strikers were calling for 15$ an hour minimum wage, a safe work environment, a lunch area free of rats and cockroaches and an end to wage theft. Following the strikes, temporary workers hired through a staffing agency have been denied work. The Cal Cartage direct hires have been taking action in support of the temp workers, putting pressure on management and taking up a collection for the banned workers. After almost three weeks, these workers have been able to return to work. Celine Perez, co-director of the Warehouse Worker Resource Center, says collective action and solidarity between the temp workers and the direct employees has been critical in their struggle.
Celine Perez they don’t see themselves as two distinct groups, but that they’re in the same fight because they do face the same situations, the same working conditions. The direct employees all know how it feels to be a temp worker because they all started as temp workers. The only way they can win all their demands and have good and safe jobs at this location is by standing together in numbers sand not letting the company divide them as they have in the past.
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