PRESS ADVISORY FOR: Thursday, May 30, 2019
- General: Barb Maynard, (323) 351-9321; [email protected]
- Teamsters Port Division (on location in Charlotte): Ricardo Hidalgo, (310) 251-6876
Friday, May 31, 1:00 pm EST
Truck drivers, warehouse workers from America’s largest port complex to join the International Brotherhood of Teamsters to call upon Lowe’s Board of Directors and home town customers to clean up broken supply chain, end illegal labor practices in United States
Charlotte, NC – On Friday, May 31, 2019, supply chain workers who haul and handle imported cargo for home improvement giant Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW) will attend the company’s Annual General Meeting in Charlotte, NC, to educate company executives and shareholders on the egregious and persistent labor law violations that are routinely happening in their supply chain at the Port of Los Angeles, California, specifically with vendor NFI Industries. These workers were among those featured in an explosive USA Today series in 2017, and the company is currently being sued by the Los Angeles City Attorney for misclassification and unfair business practices. The port workers, together with Teamster representatives, will demand that the company enforce it’s Vendor Code of Conduct. On Friday afternoon, May 31, port workers will be joined by local Teamster leaders and at a Lowe’s retail store, where they will distribute an informative leaflet to customers, urging consumer action.
WHO: Lowe’s workers, local Teamster leaders and members
WHAT: Leafletting action
WHERE: Lowe’s Store, 217 Iverson Way, Charlotte, NC 28203
WHEN: Friday, May 31, 2019; 1:00 pm EST
“For years we have heard about the wage theft and abuse happening at U.S. ports, where truck drivers are suffering from massive wage theft and toiling in working conditions that are as bad as any conditions we hear about in third world countries,” said Vernon Gammon, Principal Officer, Teamsters Local 391. “Here in North Carolina we have fought for and won strong notifications to stop employers’ illegal use of independent contractors. An injury to one is an injury to all, and we stand in solidarity with NFI warehouse workers and port truck drivers fighting for justice.”
Lowe’s contractor, NFI Industries, has recently chosen to vacate prime port property rather than comply with local, state, and federal labor laws (the Toll Group has been selected by the Port of Los Angeles and is currently in negotiations with the Port to move onto the property in July 2019). In a March 15, 2019, letter to Lowe’s CEO Marvin Ellison from warehouse worker Edelberto Zamora Castillo (NFI/California Cartage Warehouse) and port truck driver Hector Zelaya (NFI/K&R Trucking), workers called upon Lowe’s to take action:
“We want to make sure you are aware of the many problems at NFI. For years, we have spoken up about unsafe equipment, incredibly hot temperatures inside the warehouse, misclassification as “independent contractors,” racial discrimination we’ve faced, retaliation and intimidation, widespread wage theft we endure, and ongoing abuses of our rights as workers. Now, as a customer of NFI, you face a clear choice. Will you stand with us, the workers who have dedicated our lives to moving your products, or with NFI, a company that has repeatedly demonstrated its contempt for workers and the law?” Click here to read full letter.