Top Crimes of Reynolds*
1. Discriminated against woman workers
99% of packers in the NJ factory were women. The speed-up was so extreme that women did not even have time to go to the bathroom. When women took slightly longer at the bathroom (about a city-block away from the packing floor), a supervisor would call them on the loudspeaker or stand next to their station and discipline them. When Reynolds started laying off workers, Reynolds targeted women to be laid off because they stood up together against the unfair treatment. Out of 41 who were laid off, 40 were women.
2.Operated the factory like an internment camp
Reynolds installed cameras all over the Kearny plant, especially in the production area, to survey workers’ every move. Workers were told they could not talk to each other or leave their own working station without the permission of their supervisor.
3. Disregarded the Health and Safety of Workers:
Before the July 2011 layoff, the Kearny Plant was ill-equipped. Workers were forced to work in extreme temperatures of up to 120 degrees in the summer. Some women fainted from the heat. In the winter, it was so cold inside the factory, they would have to bundle up. Workers, including some with with broken bones, were left to suffer without medical attention.
4. Busted Unions To Worsen Conditions:
Reynolds colludes with John Toner, former Executive Secretary of the National Labor Relations Board, and his law firm Seyfarth Shaw, to persecute union shops across the country and bring conditions back to the way they were during the early 20th century. Reynolds shut down factories to destroy good jobs and the communities that revolved around them. In the Kearny plant, Reynolds used the Hurricane Sandy tragedy to profit millions while firing the rest of the workers who had stood up to fight against mandatory overtime.
5. Run by Greedy and Heartless CEO, Graeme Hart:
Hart “The Heartless” belongs to the top 1% of the world’s richest people. Hart’s wealth includes resort-like mansions, a private Fiji island, and yachts in which he luxuriates, all while slashing wages and beating back workers who try to exercise their rights. Under Hart’s leadership, Reynolds Group threatened Kearny workers who wanted to organize. He told them that if they fought back, he would close the shop.
6. Forced Workers to Perform Mandatory Overtime:
After the July 2011 layoffs, Reynolds forced Kearny Plant Packers to endure excessive overtime and to take on work-loads beyond what’s humanly possible to bear. The overtime was mandatory–if Packers refused to work overtime they were disciplined. Reynolds forced the remaining 32 packers to do the work of 73 people. As a result, many packers got injured and began to refuse to work the overtime. Workers were penalized for getting injured on the job and were even forced to provide a doctor’s note!
*From SOAR brochure (2013)