One month ago, my son Alex was born. Yesterday, I was fired from my job as a forklift driver at a warehouse where we move 100 percent Walmart merchandise.
I am outspoken. I defend my coworkers. I alert management to broken and unsafe equipment. I teach my coworkers about their rights, like what minimum wage is and what they should do when they are injured on the job.
I have been a target of management for awhile. They watch everything I do, but it’s not my nature to be silent or scared. I know when I am right. Last year, I went on strike to protest the retaliation my coworkers experienced when they spoke to the media and the public about the dirty water (if we had any water at all) that we were given to drink, the brakeless forklifts and the extreme
temperatures inside the warehouse.
I went on strike twice and I marched 50 miles from the warehouses to Downtown Los Angeles on our pilgrimage for safe jobs. I have spoken to the media about the secrets behind the warehousing industry, and I even crashed a meeting where one of Walmart’s vice presidents, Rajan Kamalanathan, was speaking about Walmart’s commitment to “ethical sourcing.”
What a joke.
Walmart is committed to one thing: looking the other way when workers in its supply chain are abused. Just look at the factory collapse in Bangladesh this week or the fire that killed 112 late last year. Just look at the conditions inside the warehouses in Southern California.
Join me to tell Walmart to hold its contractors accountable, starting with forcing the warehouse operator – NFI – to give me my job back. Walmart could lead on improving the quality of warehouse jobs. That would transform the lives of thousands of families, including mine.