The NFI Crossdock warehouse, near the city of Ontario, California, is where laborers work in 100F heat [or warmer], unloading shipping containers that arrived at California ports, and loading them again on trucks that go to Wal-Mart stores across America.
The back-breaking work includes strict quotas, low wages and few benefits.
But worse, a layer of black dust reportedly covers almost everything, burns throats and causes workers to cough up blood.
Jose Gonzalez told The Guardian: “I go and blow my nose, and blood comes out with the black dust. Even blowing my nose in the shower, blood comes out. When you spit, sometimes blood comes out."
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Last week, Warehouse Workers United, a union-backed campaign group, filed a complaint with California labor authorities about conditions at NFI Crossdock, which is operated by NFI, a subsidiary of National Distribution Centers of Delaware.
The complaint detailed the dust, workers vomiting and coughing blood, equipment that is often old or broken, and workers having little or no quick access to water. Often lights are broken so workers must also work in the dark. Workers have to buy their own safety equipment from a company store.
An NFI spokesperson has denied the allegations in the complaint, saying they were “riddled with fallacies."