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B&H Photo Sued by U.S. Department of Labor over discriminatory hiring and labor practices

StephenStephen Member
edited February 2016 in business
http://hyperallergic.com/278663/department-of-labor-sues-bh-photo-over-discriminatory-practices/

I've previously shopped there, but given the number and severity of the violations, I will go elsewhere.  Maybe it's time to shop Neil's favorite NJ photo store.

Comments

  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited February 2016

    Wow, just spent an hour reading all the stories on unionizing, safety, etc. (Thanks Stephen for link)

    One story showed a column in a warehouse with inches of fungi growing on it and another showed an employee perched higher than an eagle on an ordinary step ladder stacking merchandise on top shelves 25ft in air with no proper stabilisation.

    http://hyperallergic.com/275052/federal-agency-finds-labor-violations-at-bh-photo-fines-company-32000/

    In this day and age it's deplorable, and the stats on workers/race is amazingly poor apparently.

    But this quote: "Employees also report working in incredibly dusty and dirty spaces that
    expose them to asbestos, benzene, and fiberglass, which cause chronic
    nosebleeds as well as skin  and eye irritations."

    One 'small' company here in Australia recently was fined $250,000 for a 'serious' violation with blocked fire exits and a locked fire door, so with all the complaints seemingly stacked against B&H a mere $32,000 fine is pitiful in the scheme of things.

    You need to read all the stories and it appears this has been going on for years. The stupid thing is that B&H has contractual obligations with the Government, and to put those at risk, an estimated $46,000,000 per year seems to be like cutting your nose off to spite your face mentality.

    'nuff said.




  • This is certainly secondary to the workers and the conditions they are working in, but given the fungus, dust, mold(?), and anything else lurking, how would anyone now want to purchase an expensive camera or lens from them?
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    edited February 2016
    Years back Dave I did, but amazingly now here in Australia I can get better value on items even with the slack dollar exchange Au V US $ rate.

    But not only that, B&H will not ship any Canon/Nikon gear to Australia now like previously, so it's a moot pointanyway, but yeah you are right, who would want to shop there.

    On the other hand, being the Devil's Advocate, if everyone did the same, more workers would lose their jobs and with the way things are in the US (and elsewhere in the world with employment) your options to leave and get another job is very limited, so it really would be a Catch 22 situation.

    I am amazed that those conditions exist, and even here in Australia there may be breaches, but not anywhere in the category like that. One local hardware store I go to, all the workers wear these back bracing stuff with wide bands around their stomachs and the legal 'manual lifting limit' is 12Kgs (around 25lb) and they have to have hydraulic enclosed cage hoists to stack stuff on shelves, not bloody stepladders so high you would get nose bleeds.

  • Boycotting B&H will certainly cause the store to shrink and cause a loss of jobs, but I don't think we can reward companies who practice deplorable policies.

    These are very serious charges levied by the Dept. of Labor and since it isn't the only incident B&H had, I definitely will find other stores to patronize.
  • Neil vNNeil vN Administrator
    edited March 2016
    You know, it has become less easy now in the age of the internet where we have click-bait articles and memes, and half-truths and lies, to discern what is actually happening with anything you hear about. 
  • TrevTrev Moderator
    That's the trouble with the internet, the old saying 'throw enough mud and eventually it will stick' still applies.

    I read the links Neil (and a reply in one of them - 'outsides' presumes he means 'outsourced') and now it's a very mixed message with the original links, then yours. I mean in the top links I saw lots of photos of bad conditions, etc. and there seems to be employees telling us as such, then on the other hand there are the ones saying everything is great, no problems.

    It was interesting to note in that link of yours the person going into the store and filmed anywhere she wanted without finding anything, so now you would have to take that on face value.

    Thanks for those links.


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