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Warehouse Organizer Back on the Job

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David Acosta, a leader in the fight to improve warehouse working conditions, is back to work today. David was fired from his job as a forklift driver at a critical Walmart-controlled warehouse in Mira Loma, California at the end of May for allegedly violating a safety policy. David and his coworkers fought back against his unfair dismissal and retaliation by the warehouse operator, Schneider Logistics, for helping expose wrongdoing at the warehouse.

David is a lead plaintiff in a massive federal lawsuit that exposed millions of dollars in stolen wages. The lawsuit, of which Walmart, Schneider and the temporary staffing agencies that employed warehouse workers are defendants, helped end decades-long scheme to defraud workers.

“We know that Walmart is in control and now we will know the extent of their involvement to defraud workers,” Acosta said of the lawsuit.

In October 2011, workers who were jointly employed at the Walmart warehouses by Schneider Logistics, Inc. and two labor services subcontractors, Premier Warehousing Ventures and Impact Logistics, filed the Carrillo class action to recover back pay, penalties and damages. Their lawsuit alleges that the workers who load and unload Walmart’s truck containers, many of whom have worked at these warehouses for years, were routinely forced to work off the clock, denied legally required overtime pay, and retaliated against when they tried to assert their legal rights, or even asked how their paychecks had been calculated.

The California Department of Labor Standards Enforcement raided the Walmart-contracted warehouses in October 2011 and issued citations for civil fines totaling more than $1 million for inadequate record keeping alone.

(This post first appeared on the Warehouse Workers United blog and is republished with permission.)

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