Teamsters Hold Day Of Action Against Gender Pay Discrimination At Theatre Supplier Warehouse
Teamsters Local 630, based in Los Angeles, held a national Day of Action on Friday to bring attention to pay discrimination at Vistar’s Ontario, California warehouse, where women are paid an average of 26% less than men doing similar work. Vistar supplies popcorn and candy for major movie theatre chains across the country. Eighty-five warehouse workers and drivers have just concluded their third unfair labor practice strike to protest labor law violations in their fight for fair pay.
The union held demonstrations at several AMC and Regal theaters in California and across the nation to put a spotlight on the company’s pay discrimination.
Lou Villalvazo is Secretary Treasurer of Local 630:
[Lou Villalvazo]: “At the end of the day, they’re performing the same functions and duties as their male counterparts. The difference is the gentlemen are making three, six, as high as nine dollar difference for really the same job. These ladies are pulling the orders and building palates just the way the guys are, they should get paid the same. That is equal pay for equal work.”
Attorney Andrea Johnson of the National Women’s Law Center joined union members Friday to confront the company’s Board of Directors in Richmond, Virginia, saying the allegations are deeply disturbing and the company needs to take them seriously. She also encouraged the company to engage the union in collectively bargaining for equal pay:
[Andrea Johnson]: “Women in unions experience a much narrower wage gap than women who aren’t in unions. And the collective bargaining process and all the transparency that comes with that is really important to narrowing those pay disparities. So, we really encourage them to come to the table and bargain for making sure that women are paid equally.”
The pay disparity stems from workers being sorted into two different worker classifications that happen to be segregated by gender:
[Lou Villalvazo]: “That classification is something that is basically just generated to pay less. That’s all there is. It is a shame. We’re in 2017, and people around PFG are acting like this is the 1950s. That needs to stop.”
The women warehouse workers with Local 630 are almost entirely Latina. Johnson notes that Friday’s day of action was particularly timely, with Latina Equal Pay Day being recognized on November 2nd. On Average, Latina women make 54 cents on the dollar compared to white non-Hispanic men:
[Andrea Johnson]: “There are definitely intersecting forms of discrimination, race discrimination, gender discrimination, that these women are experiencing very personally and directly that combined amount to even more severe discrimination.”