Editor's note: Today, Heidi joined more than 30 of her coworkers on the picketline in front of a Walmart-contracted warehouse in Mira Loma. Warehouse workers walked off the job this morning to protest firing, extreme intimidation, spying and retaliation they have experienced since they exposed dangerous and unsafe working conditions.
I have worked at the Walmart-contracted warehouse in Mira Loma for the last five years, but I am still paid $8 an hour, the minimum wage, and I still only have part-time hours. I make about $200 a week.
I have done every job inside the warehouse and I can tell you it’s hard work and a lot of us get injured. In fact, right now I have to work in the office because I hurt my lower back, shoulder and knee carrying a very heavy box.
I am a single mother and I support my four children ages 16, 15, 12 and 9. We share an apartment in Fullerton with other people, but even so it’s difficult to pay the rent and all our bills each month. We get by borrowing whatever we can and I sell jewelry for a little extra money. It’s because of my kids that I made the decision to go on strike.
The way warehouse managers treat us is not right. We can walk away from that or we can change it. I am proud of the changes that we have won already since we notified the state of California about our working conditions. There is more water to drink and a lot of the machinery has been fixed. Our bathroom doors lock now, but there is still a lot more that must change including the way the managers harass and bother us. They follow us everywhere and they are paying consultants to follow us around the warehouse. They have installed 29 cameras to spy on us.
It’s very stressful inside the warehouse but we continue fighting. I have been quiet long enough and I know that we will win when people learn about how we are treated at our jobs moving Walmart suitcases.