Kingspan Workers Deserve Clean Air and a Responsive Employer
In spring of 2021, CLUE met Micaias, Israel, Bartolo and many other workers at Kingspan Light and Air in Santa Ana. They work cheek-to-jowl in a skylight manufacturing plant.
Welders and assemblyworkers are exposed all day to toxic chemicals. They have neither adequate ventilation nor quality respirators. They have asked their employer for a safer work environment but have not received justice.
“Kingspan and other corporations like them are responsible to the communities in which they do business. And workers negatively impacted by such enterprises have the right to ask that those issues be redressed in a fair manner.”– Rev. Adiel DePano, lead pastor at Santa Ana United Methodist Church
Beginning in summer 2021 clergy members from across Orange County came together to hear the plights of the workers and pray with them.
They helped test air quality around the factory. They recorded messages of support, quoting scripture and encouraging workers. And they accompanied workers on delegations to speak with bosses and make their concerns known.
On October 15th, they filed a complaint with Cal/OSHA. On October 19th, workers filed a complaint with the State Water Resources Control Board. They alleged violations of worker safety and clean water laws at Kingspan’s manufacturing facility in Southern California.
On November 10th, 2021 More than 100 people gathered in Delhi Park on Wednesday to hear city leaders, Kingspan factory workers, faith leaders and community and environmental activists address growing concerns about the labor and environmental track record of Kingspan.
On December 15th more than 40 faith leaders signed on to a letter to Kingspan management expressing concern for the health of workers and community members. Kingspan dismissed workers complaints, preferring to conduct its own air quality testing.
As of January 2022, workers now seeking a unionization process that will allow them to negotiate with their employers.
CLUE community will remain vigilant and ready to respond if we receive any reports of retaliation or further resistance to a fair unionization process by Kingspan management in 2022.
Solidarity is Sacred
Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice educates, organizes, and mobilizes faith leaders and community members to walk with workers like those at Kingspan, as they stand up for good jobs, safe workplaces, and healthy communities.
We can accompany low-wage workers—mostly immigrants and communities of color—because people like you support an organized, connected interfaith movement for economic justice.
Please join the movement to build an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top.