Wal-Mart warehouse contractor sued for wage theft

By Freddie Pierce
Written BY: k.scarpati Lots of attention has been paid to the Dukes v. Wal-Mart case, the largest class-action civil-rights lawsuit in American history...

Written BY: k.scarpati

Lots of attention has been paid to the Dukes v. Wal-Mart case, the largest class-action civil-rights lawsuit in American history that could affect 1.6 million women, but a smaller class-action lawsuit indirectly against a Wal-Mart warehouse is slowly getting more and more attention.

Eight workers have accused Schneider Logistics, a Wal-Mart contractor, and another firm of violating state and federal labor laws. The suit could involve hundreds of warehouse employees should it be certified class-action.

Schneider Logistics runs an Elwood, Ill. warehouse, which basically serves as a Mid-West Wal-Mart distribution center.

The eight workers allege the distribution company failed to follow through on a promise of a $10 hourly rate, a “piece rate” for each items shipped and bonuses for “team lifts” that involved heavy loads.

“I noticed after a couple of weeks that my checks didn’t match my hours,” worker Robert Hines said. “People are breaking their backs, trying to feed their families and be right.”

Hines also claimed he sometimes worked more than 50 hours per week and was shortchanged on overtime.

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Hines and other workers marched on the warehouse earlier this year, hoping to resolve the issue short of a lawsuit, but they were encouraged to go to court by a local advocacy group, Warehouse Workers for Justice.

Wal-Mart was the world’s largest public corporation in 2010 by revenue and has distribution centers and warehouses in 39 states and Washington D.C., according to an online listing.

The case is Collins, et al. v. Schneider Logistics, et al., and will be heard at the Illinois Northern District Court.

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