(BURBANK, LYNWOOD, POMONA & VENTURA, Calif.) – Truck drivers, gas cylinder fillers, loaders and dispatchers who are members of Teamsters Local 848 went on strike this morning at four Airgas USA locations in California, due to the company’s numerous violations of federal laws that protect workers’ rights.
The striking Airgas employees are members of Teamsters Local 848. They supply gas to many California facilities and businesses such as hospitals, nursing homes and local restaurants.
Airgas and its subsidiaries are America’s largest distributor of industrial, medical and specialty gases. Airgas’ parent corporation Air Liquide [EPA: AI], based in France, is the world’s largest distributor of such gases and is a Forbes Global 2000 company.
The workers at all four locations organized their unions with Local 848 last year.
As he walked the line yesterday morning, Airgas driver Mario Quintero said, “We work hard to help Airgas and Air Liquide earn huge revenues. Air Liquide earned $23 billion last year. Yet despite the work we do for Airgas, it continues to treat us abusively and with disrespect. Airgas fired employees for union activity and has harassed and intimidated many of us who chose to form a union so we could have dignity and a voice on the job. Treating workers this way is unconscionable and illegal.”
“The Teamsters Union does not condone abusive behavior by employers, and all of us at Teamsters Local 848 will back these members to ensure they are treated fairly and with respect,” said Eric Tate, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 848 in Glendora, Calif. “Teamsters Local 848 filed multiple unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board, and the Board is now taking the company to trial over its illegal actions.”