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Workers’ Rights Are Human Rights

Skylight stands in solidarity with the warehouse workers affected by unsafe conditions.  We call upon B&H Photo to treat all of its workers ethically and with respect. As a leading marketplace for photo and video equipment, B&H has an opportunity and responsibility to inspire other companies with warehouses in the New York area to follow suit.

From the Photo/Video Alliance:

To the owners and management of B&H Photo Video:

We are writing today in support of the over 200 B&H Photo Video warehouse workers who are seeking to form a union and secure a contract to protect themselves against the dangerous work conditions and discrimination they are currently facing.

As photo and video professionals, artists, educators, and students, we believe that the images we create have the agency for social change. This is why it is deeply upsetting to learn that the equipment and materials used to create our work has been brought to us on the backs of other workers who are treated so unfairly on a daily basis

B&H Photo Video warehouse workers describe alarming problems:

  • Exposure to dusts including fiberglass, benzene and asbestos, that led to chronic nosebleeds and skin rashes
  • Lack of access to water that led to some workers developing kidney stones
  • Being instructed to carry heavy loads alone, leading to musculoskeletal injuries
  • Workers required to work 13-16 hour shifts with only one 45 minute lunch break, and no other breaks
  • Verbal abuse including being called derogatory names
  • Little or no safety training
  • On one occasion workers were not allowed to leave the warehouse for more than 30 minutes during a fire that was filling the building with smoke
  • Retaliation against workers organizing a union

We stand with the workers of the #BHexposed campaign, and call on B&H Photo Video to allow the workers to form a union, free from intimidation and retaliation, and quickly negotiate a fair contract. Many of us can no longer in good conscience patronize B&H, and we stand together closely watching the company, ready to act and support the workers.

We also ask that universities, schools, non-profits, unions, photo agencies, and other groups follow the lead of WITNESS and IATSE in publicly declaring their support for the B&H warehouse workers.

Signed,
The Photo/Video Alliance

Nora
Nora Christiani
nora@skylight.is

Nora is the Outreach Director at Skylight.

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