For Immediate Release: Saturday, Oct. 6, 2012
Media Contacts: Leah Fried, Warehouse Workers for Justice, 773-550-3022
Mark Meinster, Warehouse Workers for Justice, 773-405-3022
In an historic victory, striking warehouse workers at a Walmart facility in Elwood, Illinois won their principle demand for an end to illegal retaliation against workers protesting poor conditions. They will return to work Saturday with full pay for the time they were on strike.
Once back at work, they continue the fight for safe working conditions, fair pay for all hours worked and an end to discrimination.
Join a telephonic press conference at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Oct. 9 to hear from the victorious workers. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org for call-in information.
During the 21-day strike, workers received a tremendous outpouring of support. On Oct. 1 strikers and their supporters shut down Walmart’s largest distribution center in North America, while clergy, community and labor leaders blocked the road leading out of the warehouse to support workers on strike at the Walmart warehouse in Elwood, near Joliet, Illinois.
The strike and rally in Illinois and a similar strike to protest retaliation in Walmart’s contracted warehouses in Southern California brought Walmart’s distribution system into the public eye to protest unfair labor practices and other abuses in the nation’s largest distribution centers.
On Oct. 5, Walmart received a letter from more than 100,000 supporters demanding Walmart take responsibility for what is happening in warehouses in Illinois and Southern California.
Striking Roadlink worker Ted Ledwa said: “With this victory, we forced the company to respect our rights. We showed that when workers are united we can stand up to the biggest corporations in the world and win.”
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. The strikers are members of the Warehouse Worker Organizing Committee.