SANTA MONICA, CA
Millennium Reinforcing is a concrete reinforcing contractor based in San Clemente, CA. The company primarily installs rebar on privately-funded projects like apartment buildings and hotels all over Southern California. These workers do one of the most physically taxing and dangerous jobs in the construction industry, which involves carrying and placing hundreds of pounds of steel on their backs each day in dangerous situations.
In June 2012, several workers at Millennium Reinforcing went on strike because of the mistreatment, disregard, and indifference the company had shown them and their co-workers. The workers testify that they were not paid overtime, were forced to work 14-hour days, paid substandard wages, lacked safety training, and suffered unsanitary conditions and verbal abuse. The workers also testify that the company forced them to sign a document falsely stating they received their breaks and lunches and that they only worked five days per week at 8 hours a day.
Since then, workers continue to stand up in protest against conditions at Millennium. Workers have reported and continue to report injuries on the job and supervisors’ lack of proper attention to those injuries. At the same time, Millennium has been cited for multiple OSHA violations, including failure to use proper fall protection and failure to provide potable water at jobsites.
The Millennium workers have been speaking out about their issues by taking the message to developers, contractors, and the public. They have received a generous outpouring of support in California from faith and community organizations. Even members of the Southern California business community have shown concern for the safety and livelihood of the concrete reinforcing workers who build our cities.
CLUE leaders continue to stand with Millennium workers, asking developers not to utilize this company until labor practices change.
"My doctor’s instructions were to not lift anything (0 lbs.), not carry anything (0 lbs.) and to not operate any type of machinery. I was also not to use my right hand. The foremen did not pay any attention and don’t care that I am still hurt."
I started working for Millennium Reinforcing as an ironworker in May of 2013. My work duties included carrying and tying rebar on decks, in footings and caissons. Working at Millennium is very hard; you have to work really fast. There is a lot of injustice at Millennium. Sometimes they make us work without water and other times they make us help pay for water. When I worked at Millennium, I had to use my own tools.
I got hurt on a job at Keys Chevrolet in Van Nuys. I was taking steel off of the forklift on the second deck and the forks smashed my hand. I broke my finger in two places, two fractures. They took me to the hospital and I was operated on the next day. I was told not to use workman’s comp. The company told me to stay home and that Millennium was going to pay me. I told them that I was already using workman’s comp and they told me to stop using it and that if I had medicine to buy, for me to buy it and the office would repay me.
The company asked me to return to work about a week after I got hurt and work “light duty”. My doctor’s instructions were to not lift anything (0 lbs.), not carry anything (0 lbs.) and to not operate any type of machinery. I was also not to use my right hand. The Millennium foremen made me carry and tie rebar. I told the foremen that I can’t work like that, that I had limitations. The foremen did not pay any attention and don’t care that I am still hurt.
I hope that my testimony is useful and something can be done to bring justice at Millennium Reinforcing.
Eliseo Arturo Anderson – Millennium worker