Disabled workers fight back against sweatshop conditions

Disabled workers fight back against sweatshop conditions

Disabled workers in Michigan form a trade union to fightback against poor wages and sweatshop conditions. The bosses respond with a variety of union busting tactics.

Workers at Peckham Vocational Industries in Michigan, a not for profit company that provides job training and employment for disabled workers are in the process of forming a trade union. Workers have accused the bosses of paying sub-minimum wages to their 1100 employees whilst at the same time making huge profits. So far, around 200 workers have signed up the new trade union.

As soon as bosses became aware of the workers attempting to unionise they have engaged in open ‘union busting’ tactics, such as forcing employees to watch ant-union videos before they can receive pay check, and spreading misinformation about the union.

A spokesman has reported that:

“Another one of our key organizers has been laid-off and another given a one-week suspension for no reason," a post on a Facebook page of United Peckham Employee Group, reads. "We have also confirmed that Peckham is hiring a lot of new people, even as they are laying off current workers. This is clear-cut union busting, and we aren't going to stand for it."

A sacked worker believes that:

“All of this started when we started getting a union in here. Workers are concerned about wages, working conditions, and disrespectful treatment by the company. They are using people on a daily basis and it just has to end. It’s a glorified modern-day sweatshop”

Bosses have predictably claimed that the lay-offs are nothing to do with trade union activities, but rather it is to do with orders being currently lower than expected.

Solidarity with the Peckham Vocational workers!

Posted By

working class s...
May 12 2012 22:09


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May 13 2012 09:29

The bosses can go hang.

I wish these workers all the very best. In the UK, there is a similar company to help the disabled find employment. It used to provide sheltered workshops as well, but many of these are being closed down.

The name of the company is Remploy. I have been involved with them in the past, and their role as job-brokers (helping disabled people 'get back to work' - subsidized by a large wedge of government cash), is a fucking joke.

I will make a posting about it later.

And yep, Solidarity with Peckham Vocational Workers, all the fucking way!!! smile pink black star

May 13 2012 23:50

I am so proud of my fellow workers with disabilities finally standing up for themselves! Right on! Solidarity!

Chilli Sauce
May 14 2012 11:56

Thanks WCSE, good on digging up this story.

May 29 2012 17:55

yes we got a firm over here called atos who like god can make the sick fit for work and can overight doctors advice and like us stay together the bullys in the end will get their cumupense