Union Group Protests Warehouse Temp Worker Conditions

By Staff Report

May. 29, 2009

A union group called Warehouse Workers United blocked an intersection in Southern California on Thursday, May 28, by handcuffing people around a forklift in the middle of the road in an effort to focus attention on warehouse workers. In a press release, the group said it wants to persuade companies in the warehouse district to end the system of temporary employment.

It said temporary workers hired through unions are “paid meager wages, have no access to affordable health care and are denied the right to choose to form a union, and suffer the additional burden of being unable to collect unemployment benefits when they are let go.”

The group said the intersection was a central point for trucks heading to warehouses used by companies such as Wal-Mart, Target and Home Depot.

A report in the San Bernardino Sun newspaper said about 200 people blocked the intersection of Van Buren Boulevard and Etiwanda Avenue in Mira Loma, California. A fight also broke out between some protesters and a motorist who tried to drive past the blockade, according to the report.

The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department reported that traffic was obstructed for more than an hour and that 11 people were arrested for creating a public nuisance.

—Staffing Industry Analysts

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