The New York Times: Workers at B&H Photo Video, Citing Hazards, Move to Unionize

Ian Pajer-Rogers |

From The New York Times:

by Colin Moynihan

Martin Hernandez was moving heavy boxes of merchandise at a Brooklyn warehouse belonging to the electronics superstore B&H Photo Video in late August, he said, when he felt a sudden stab of pain in his left leg.

“I felt my knee crack, and I just couldn’t get up,” he said on Tuesday, through a Spanish-English interpreter. “The pain was so intense, I couldn’t feel my foot.”

Mr. Hernandez, 48, said he had been taken by ambulance to the Brooklyn Hospital Center. He eventually learned he had a damaged ligament, and has not worked or received a paycheck since the injury. He said his meager savings were nearly exhausted.

On Tuesday, an organizer with the United Steelworkers union filed a petition with the National Labor Relations Board asking for a vote among warehouse workers — including Mr. Hernandez — on whether they want the union to represent them. Workers had complained that they had been forced to work long hours in unsafe environments without proper training, while subject to discrimination.

“This is an employer who had been negligent and unconcerned about unhealthy working conditions and health problems,” said Arturo Archila, the union organizer. He said he expected a vote to take place within 25 or 26 days.

Read the full article from The New York Times