29.04.2021 / News /
This week, United Voices of the World (UVW) stood in solidarity with 18 Latinx factory workers in New Jersey, USA, who were sacked for speaking up about a lack of health and safety protections.
The workers, employees of Mondi, a global packaging multinational, were fired in June 2020 are calling for fair compensation for their illegal sacking and safer working conditions for those still working at Mondi’s New Jersey facility.
In a letter to the company, UVW stated: “As the pandemic raged on, managers were afforded the option to work from home while those who manufactured the packaging and paper goods, maintained the facility’s machines, and cleaned the warehouse, were required to work, and without any protection, including personal protective equipment (PPE). Many workers were getting sick, but your company did not inform all of its employees of positive cases. By doing this you put your employees’ lives on the line. Two workers tragically died as a result of your negligence”.
UVW was also informed that the workers were not only sacked for speaking out over a lack of PPE, but also discriminated against on the basis of their immigration status, with the company lawyer from the firm Michael Best and Fried Rich LLP threatening to use the workers’ immigration status as a means to discredit their case.
“It is right that in the week the union movement marks International Workers’ Memorial Day we remember the workers, mostly migrant workers, that kept the economy going during this deadly pandemic. It is right that we remember our brothers and sisters who lost their lives whilst cleaning, caring, feeding, and keeping us safe. We salute the Mondi factory workers that have bravely spoken out. UVW a union for migrant, precarious, and low paid workers will always stand in solidarity with those speaking out for dignity, respect and safe workplaces” commented Executive committee member and UVW co-founder Petros Elia
More about the Mondi warehouse workers’ protest in October 2020 >>