Former and current employees at Mars Warehouse in Joliet will protest at Mars North American Headquarters over COVID-19 safety & retaliation.
In July the Mars Workers for Justice committee delivered a petition signed by close to 100 workers to the candy giant and its 3rd Party Logistics companies, XPO and DHL Logistics, demanding hazard & quarantine pay as well as greater safety measures for the duration of the COVID-19 crisis. Since the petition was delivered by workers, at least three have been fired under suspicious circumstances and now workers will be filing an Unfair Labor Practice complaints against Mars’ contractors. Workers will also be speaking out to demand Mars and it’s contractors increase safety and end retaliation against workers who demanded increased safety precautions at the warehouse.
Demonica Moore had worked as a temp worker at the warehouse since 2017 and was recently fired. “I went from only having one write up to being fired and placed on the Do Not Return list. A Do Not Return list means you are fired and you cannot work with that staffing agency anymore,” she said. “It does not make sense to me. The only explanation I have left is that I signed a petition for better pay during COVID-19 back in July and this was retaliation against me. But I know it is my right to ask for better pay and better protections at my work.”
“In no way should there be retaliation against workers who are speaking out for greater workplace safety,” said Sandy Moreno, Lead Organizer at Warehouse Workers for Justice. “Mars and their contractors need to end retaliation and should work to meet workers’ demands.”
WHAT: Press Conference and Picket at Mars North America Chicago Headquarters
WHO: Warehouse Workers for Justice, Raise the Floor Alliance, Chicago Workers’ Collaborative, Foodchain Workers Alliance
WHEN: Tuesday, September 8th, 11am
WHERE: Mars North America Chicago Headquarters, 1131 W Blackhawk
Located inside Centerpoint, North America’s largest inland port, the 1.4 million square feet warehouse is one of the candy giants most important distribution sites in the country. While the massive distribution center moves products for Mars, it is not owned by the company, but instead run by two 3rd Party Logistics companies, DHL and XPO Logistics, along with at least four staffing agencies operating in the warehouse, which are notorious for poor labor standards.
Below are the demands sent to management from the workers:
We call on Mars to do the right thing:
Temporarily close and disinfect the warehouse, while providing pandemic pay.
Paid sick leave: if we have to quarantine, we should continue to receive full pay for as long as we have to stay at home.
Hazard pay: Essential workers deserve hazard pay for the increased health risks we take every day.
Personal protective equipment (PPE): Masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer are baseline requirements for a safe and healthy workplace.
Eliminate the point system during this crisis.
Meet and discuss with us other steps that can be taken to ensure our safety.