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UFW joins warehouse workers on 50-mile 'March for Safe Jobs' from Riverside Co. to Downtown LA

UFW joins warehouse workers on 50-mile 'March
for Safe Jobs' from Riverside Co. to Downtown LA
Los Angeles, CA ― Dozens of workers and their supporters will urge Walmart to take responsibility for the illegal and inhumane working conditions at its contracted warehouses in Southern California during a six-day, 50-mile pilgrimage. The Warehouse Workers United headquarters in Ontario will be the starting point and the march will end with a rally in Downtown Los Angeles.
Following the tradition of the United Farm Workers, the warehouse workers hope to make their voices heard in the boisterous city of LA. Last year, the UFW launched a 200-mile pilgrimage up California's Central Valley to Sacramento urging Gov. Jerry Brown to support farm workers’ right to unionize.
UFW President Arturo Rodriguez will be addressing the pilgrims during a kick-off press conference at 10 a.m. Thursday, Sept. 13, at the WWU office, 601 S. Milliken, Ste. A, Ontario, CA 91761. The Warehouse Workers March for Safe Jobs will include stops in Claremont, West Covina, Baldwin Park and El Monte. It will end Tuesday with a rally on the West Step of the Los Angeles City Hall.
"The UFW just celebrated five decades of struggle to improve the working conditions of some of the poorest workers in the nation. We are happy to see that the farm worker struggle has served as an inspiration for our brothers and sisters who work in the warehouses," Rodriguez said.
"Warehouse workers, like farm workers, still face too many basic challenges at work. And no one should have to work in the extreme heat that warehouse workers are expected to work in without proper breaks," he said. Dozens of farm workers from Oxnard and Central Valley are expected to join the pilgrimage Sunday.

The warehouse workers and their supporters will march along the same route, which parallels the route that goods travel through the Los Angeles basin and the Inland Empire. They will march for basic, but critical improvements on the job: fans to combat the frequent 120-degree heat, working equipment, clean water, regular breaks, an end to inhumane work quotas and no more retaliation for speaking up about safety conditions.
Warehouse employees have threatened to strike on Wednesday after months of high tension, high temperatures and extreme pressure in a major Walmart-contracted warehouse.
More than 85,000 workers labor in these warehouses, moving merchandise out of shipping containers that enter through the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach and onto trucks destined for retail stores like Walmart.
The marchers will sleep on church floors and rely on community organizations for meals and additional backing. They will be joined daily by supporters and elected officials.
WHAT: Press conference to launch Warehouse Workers March for Safe Jobs
WHEN: 10 a.m., Thursday, Sept. 13, 2012
WHERE: Warehouse Workers United, 601 S. Milliken, Ste. A, Ontario, CA 91761
WHO: Warehouse workers, UFW Pres. Arturo S. Rodriguez, Assemblywoman Norma Torres (D-Pomona), members of the clergy and various supporters.
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