Airgas Is Being Prosecuted for Violations of Federal Labor Laws
(BURBANK, LYNWOOD & VENTURA, Calif.) – Airgas workers who are members of Teamsters Local 848 went on strike this morning at Airgas locations in Burbank, Lynwood and Ventura, Calif., to protest the company’s violations of federal laws that protect workers’ rights. Airgas illegally terminated four workers after a previous strike.
These Airgas employees supply gas to California facilities and businesses such as hospitals, nursing homes and local restaurants. Yesterday, Airgas Teamsters in Pomona put up a primary picket line and extended the line to an Airgas facility in San Diego.
This is the second unfair labor practice picket at these Airgas locations; the first occurred in October when Airgas employees struck at four Southern California locations.
“Airgas illegally terminated four employees after workers went on an unfair labor practices strike at these locations in October. Airgas is now being prosecuted by the federal government for the illegal terminations,” said Eric Tate, Secretary-Treasurer of Teamsters Local 848 in Glendora, Calif.
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.
These Airgas workers organized their union with Local 848 last year, but do not yet have a contract.
“Going on strike to protest an employer’s abuses is a human right that’s recognized in the U.S. and around the world. In France, Air Liquide would never dare to fire workers for striking. We are on strike again today to protest the illegal firings,” said Airgas driver Mario Quintero.
“An injury to one is an injury to all,” Tate said. “Under France’s Corporate Vigilance Law, Air Liquide could be sanctioned for its human rights violations in America. The French people would never allow Air Liquide to violate workers’ rights. Teamsters Local 848 will stand by our members and support their right to strike. Airgas workers deserve respect, and the company must follow the law and negotiate a contract.”