According to a recent newscast from ABC 7, a large retailer in the Los Angeles area is cutting hours, reducing hours, and laying off workers, and this is leading to large scale protests by company employees. The company is claiming that it has no choice, as it trying to survive and reemerge following a recent restructuring bankruptcy.
Things started with a strike/work stoppage this past week after several workers were fired for protesting what the company was doing. These workers are members of a major apparel worker’s union, and a spokesperson for that union says they are losing hours, jobs, and pay and can no longer afford to live and take care of their families, despite the fact that they are working as many hours as their employer will give them in what used to be a full-time job.
After the company workers at the main factory in Los Angeles were laid off, most of the other workers stopped working for a short period of time in protest of the recent wave of firings. At another nearby plant where T-shirts are manufactured, workers stopped working for the remainder of the afternoon, bringing the factory to a complete halt.
One of the workers who was fired said he had been working at the company for nearly 20 years and was a supervisor in charge of 2,000 workers. The company had filed for Chapter 11 and now says that it has to streamline production after what they are calling a successful restructuring. While the restructuring may be a complete success for the company, it is not such a success for the thousands of workers who are still at the company. For them, it means less money, less benefits, and a lot less job security.
One of the saddest aspects of this for many employees is that this company was once considered one of the most desirable companies at which to work. The company even tried to get immigration report measures passed that would help undocumented workers become legal residents and eventually naturalized citizens. Now, many locations are closing and jobs are being cut, but the employees say it is the total lack of respect that is the most difficult aspect of all this, and it is what makes things hard on a day to day basis.
If you are working at a company and feel you are improperly being denied fair wages, wrongfully terminated, or subject to workplace harassment, you should contact an Orange County employment lawyer as soon as possible to determine if you have a valid claim against your employer. In the clothing industry and other Los Angeles area industries that employ a large number of immigrants, many workers fear that they will be retaliated against if they stand up for their rights. While this does happen on a regular basis, it is not only wrong, but it is also a violation of the California labor laws, and this is also something about which you should speak with your attorney, as your employer should not be allowed to do this.
Contact the employment attorneys at Nassiri Law Group, practicing in Orange County, Riverside and Los Angeles. Call 714-937-2020.
AMERICAN APPAREL WORKERS WALK OFF JOB IN PROTEST OF LAYOFFS, SALARY CUTS, February 28, 2016, Abc 7 News LA, By Miriam Hernandez
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