Rally on July 17 with Davis Wire strikers in Kent
UPDATE — Prior to Tuesday’s 3 p.m. rally in Kent, striking workers at Davis Wire will converge at 11 a.m. Tuesday on the King County Courthouse in Seattle, where they will officially join a lawsuit alleging that the company created sweatshop-like conditions by working employees off the clock and denying employees rest and meal breaks in an unsafe environment and failing to pay them statutorily-required overtime wages. After the courthouse action, workers will go to the 3 p.m. rally at Davis Wire in Kent (19411 80th Ave S.)
KENT — Teamsters Local 117 is hosting a community rally for striking workers at Davis Wire starting at 3 p.m. Tuesday, July 17 at S. 194th & 80th Ave. S. in Kent. For nearly three months, 85 workers have been on strike to protest what they say was the retaliatory layoffs of co-workers, dangerous working conditions, and a series of unlawful actions by the company.
We need to show these strikers that the community supports them in their struggle to win safe working conditions and protect basic workplace rights. So please make plans to attend Tuesday’s rally. (Download the rally flier.)
In addition, here’s what you can do to support the Davis Wire strikers:
Watch this video with Davis Wire employees describing why they are on strike, the working conditions they face, and how they have been treated by their employer.
Please make a contribution — and ask your union organization to make a contribution — to the DAVIS WIRE – ONE MORE DAY fund (formerly DW Hardship Fund). Local 117 set up this fund to help the strikers’ families, which are struggling to pay their bills and make ends meet as they make the brave stand up for fair treatment. Click here to contribute via PayPal, or mail checks made out to the “Davis Wire ONE MORE DAY Fund” to Teamsters Local 117 at 14675 Interurban Ave. South, Suite 307, Tukwila, WA, 98168. Thank you!
BACKGROUND — The 85 workers at Davis Wire’s Kent facility have been without a contract since Dec. 1, 2011. On May 15, the company laid off 27 employees in Kent — nearly a third of its unionized workforce — just three days after workers voted to authorize a strike. Their union, Teamsters Local 117, contends that the layoffs were retaliatory in nature.
On May 21, the workers went on strike to protest what Local 117 says was a series of unlawful actions by the company. The union has filed Unfair Labor Practice charges with the NLRB accusing the company of a dozen violations of federal labor law, including bad faith bargaining, worker surveillance, worker intimidation, and illegal threats to shut down the facility.
In addition to the Unfair Labor Practice charges, workers have joined a class-action lawsuit accusing their employer of denying them the right to take rest and meal breaks and working employees without paying them over a three year period. The complaint, which was filed in King County Superior Court on April 30, describes sweatshop-like conditions, in which employees were pressured to work 12-hour shifts without a break and eat lunch at their work stations while operating dangerous machinery.
Davis Wire is one of four manufacturers in the Heico Wire Group. Over the last few years, four workers have been killed in industrial accidents at Heico facilities across the country. At the Kent facility, workers have suffered serious injuries, including wire punctures, broken bones, and mangled fingers. Last week a machine operator was injured and hospitalized after his hand got caught between two spinning rollers of a fabric machine.
Davis Wire also operates plants in Irwindale, CA and Pueblo, CO. Some of the company’s major customers include Home Depot, Lowe’s, and several major construction companies.
Both the lawsuit and the Unfair Labor Practice charges can be viewed on Local 117’s website at www.teamsters117.org.
Also at the Teamsters Local 117 website, get more details about how you can support striking workers, including information about where you can join these workers on the picket line.
Short URL: http://www.thestand.org/?p=15416