Skip to main content

Morena Hernandez
And then she was suspended. Coincidentally.
(Unite Here Local 11)

Oh, look. More cases of workers losing their jobs just coincidentally as they're organizing for better treatment on the job or to join a union. To Xiomara Perez, the Toll Group truck driver fired for taking a bathroom break, add more than two dozen Walmart warehouse workers laid off and a Hyatt housekeeper suspended, both last week.

The California Walmart distribution center that laid off the workers is operated by Schneider Logistics; the workers in question were hired by a staffing agency, Impact Logistics. Schneider claims the workers were "temporarily laid-off while the Walmart distribution center transitions to a new inventory management system. It says the workers could be hired back as soon as next Tuesday." So surely it's just a coincidence that these workers are part of a class action suit against Schneider and two staffing agencies of wage theft and other labor law violations.

Morena Hernandez, a longtime housekeeper at the Hyatt Andaz in West Hollywood, was also the victim of another amazing coincidence. Hernandez was suspended supposedly for following an improper room cleaning procedure in dealing with this unholy mess:

That day, I noticed the carpet in the room was dirty, so I requested a shampoo – a procedure that requires another employee and extra time. I then went into the bathroom and noticed the guest had been sick because he left quite a mess in the toilet. I sprayed down the toilet, and while the cleaner penetrated, I went on to start cleaning the next room. I marked the room as “unfinished” in the hotel’s electronic tracking system.
Suspension means she may be on her way to losing her job. This is doubtless coincidental with her activism, including leafleting outside the hotel on International Women's Day in support of Martha and Lorena Reyes, who were fired from the same hotel for alleged break time violations shortly after they protested the posting of pictures of their faces photoshopped onto bikini-clad bodies. Got that? The Hyatt Andaz wants us to believe that the Reyes sisters were fired for break time violations, not their protest of the pictures, and Morena Hernandez was suspended for improper cleaning procedures (after 15 years at the same hotel), not for her protest of the Reyes sisters being fired.

This is why we need a strong National Labor Relations Board and stronger penalties for retaliatory firings: Scratch the surface of any kind of organizing effort by workers and you're likely to find these stories. It's illegal to fire workers for exercising their legal rights, but even if companies knew they'd be found guilty every single time it happened, the weak penalties would mean that many employers would still think the benefits in ridding themselves of leaders and intimidating other workers were worth it.

Originally posted to Daily Kos Labor on Mon Mar 26, 2012 at 12:10 PM PDT.

Also republished by Retail and Workplace Pragmatists - Members and Editors, Retail And Workplace Pragmatists - General, and In Support of Labor and Unions.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site