Equating Responsibility for Conditions in the Cheating System

Equating Responsibility for Conditions in the Cheating System

If you ever had an upset stomach at some point and took some Equate to treat it, the medicine may have been produced under the following conditions. The following describes the conditions of work and what happens when members have come forward to start formal complaints. The whole process began back in Spring 2011, and while there have been some victories the case is actually still “open”.

Raritan Pharmaceuticals is a light manufacturing and distribution firm of generic medicines that sends most of its products to Walmart, Walgreens, CVS etc. A vast majority of its workforce is actually “employed” by a temp agency Professional Personnel.

Through surveys, the facility had been known to have unsafe conditions. When discussing conditions of work in general in central New Jersey, members would often mention “las pastillas” (the pills). Workers employed by Professional were subjected to overtime paid at the regular rate under the same name, or as sometimes instructed, under a different name. Another member also stated that he had to enter a confined space without protection when he cleaned an industrial vat. And above all, there is dust. Psyllium husk is the main ingredient used in the production of the pills and needs the use of a respirator according to some MSDSs. Workers rather were given a simple dust mask. Some involved in the production process have gotten rashes or nosebleeds and had to leave for medical attention. Workers were not trained in HAZCOM by neither the company nor the agency.

Once the Department of Labor initiated its complaint, it eventually found that both Raritan and Professional to be “Dual employers”. Raritan played a supervisory role to Professional employees, even though they weren’t the “employer” cutting worker checks. As such, both were found to be responsible for workers’ unpaid overtime wages. About $32,000 of unpaid overtime wage was recovered once the agency starting issuing payments. However workers still came forward with some missing hours. As a result, the case was “reopened” and another $11,000 has been (or will be) distributed.

And that’s how we make the players accountable in the cheating system. We’ll remember that the next time we have an upset stomach.

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