Feds: B&H forced Hispanic workers to use separate bathroom

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by briloop, Feb 26, 2016.

  1. Ranger Rick

    Ranger Rick Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 11, 2009
    Tempe, AZ
    David Hobby also posted that cleaners requested a meeting with B&H's HR about working conditions and were summarily fired. Apparently some group(s) at B&H had recently voted for union representation, so likely tense there. Would like to know what B&H has to say about this. If true, will affect where I shop.
  2. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    Looks like I am going to have to find a new place to buy my camera gear that I can't get at my local shop.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. gr6825

    gr6825 Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 10, 2012
    Hey, I would urge everyone to allow due process here. I think the lawsuit indicates the Feds see serious problems but we have only heard one side of the story.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  4. riverr02

    riverr02 Mu-43 Veteran

    May 2, 2011
    New York
    Wow, that article does not paint them in a flattering light. And mind you, that article was in the NY Post- a fairly conservative paper. Would hope people wouldn't treat other human beings in that way...
    • Agree Agree x 2
  5. TonyG

    TonyG Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 15, 2012
    Ontario Canada
    Same here. I did a search on the internet and there are too my instances of civil rights violations for this not to be true.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  6. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    I would (do) not know what to believe in the press when a union is trying to make their way into a non-union business. The ordeal of unionization can and often results in some of the most unethical practices in use. I do not make decisions based on the press alone.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  7. Struggling to see how you can attribute this to unions ...

    • Agree Agree x 3
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  8. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Personal experience at the attempted unionization of four different manufacturing plants. Note: I did not state the unethical was from the unions or the company involved - it can easily come from both sides or one side, and often the press does not seem capable of non biased reporting.

    The second part you bolded, in my experiences with US federal or state Department of Labor - they don't negotiate over a prolonged period of time. They may hold an arbitration over administrative matters but it must be concluded expeditiously - again not over an extended period of time. There are either infractions of the laws or not. If not taken care of in a reasonable amount of time, they warn with a definitive time line of meeting requirements, and then fine if not met.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  9. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    Unions aside, B&H has a history of discrimination lawsuits against them. Until they get things sorted out, I'll spend my money elsewhere. Why shop at a place that treats people like dirt?
    • Agree Agree x 8
    • Like Like x 5
  10. Clint

    Clint Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Apr 22, 2013
    San Diego area, CA
    Your choice. I've been to B&H and their Navy Yard warehouse, based on what I've seen and the people I know there what I'm reading is contradictory to what I've seen and heard.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  11. Jonathan F/2

    Jonathan F/2 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 10, 2011
    Los Angeles, USA
    So all your Latin-American buddies working the warehouse have had zero problems being employed at B&H and these lawsuits are just frivolous money grabs by unscrupulous individuals out to tarnish the solid reputation of B&H?
    • Like Like x 5
  12. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    When other companies offer the same shipping cost to Australia as B&H I'll use them, however they generally don't. Adorama generally has 3-4 times more expensive shipping, Freestyle can often be close as long as you stay below a certain dollar value.

    I also agree with Clint to an extent, I've seen unions strike purely so that the factory would then have to use overtime to meet production contracts (long story short, a late delivery date was negotiated and the only people who got overtime were those who didn't strike).
    I'm sure there's truth behind much of the accusations however at this point in time unless the others can actually compete on price there's really no competition at all (this goes for local business too, too many local company's seem unwilling to compete and keep ridiculous markups).
  13. Krigskoen

    Krigskoen Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 10, 2015
    Wow, that's really terrible. I'm mostly surprised by how the discrimination is so systematic and planned out..disgusting. I really regret having purchased from them once.

    Edit: This is the 2007 settlement referenced in the article: EEOC and B & H Reach $4.3 Million Settlement In National Origin Discrimination Case

    I really find this the most worrying. It's not simply a one time occurrence but seems to be systematic discrimination and racism present in the company. So probably some kind of unofficial company policy.
    • Agree Agree x 3
  14. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    I agree about due process in terms of convicting B&H, but that is not a requirement for where I spend my money.

    This seems like a very biased interpretation of what little we know. Doesn't it seem like attempts to unionize are based on how poorly B&H is treating some workers?

    Yep. Price and service don't trump all else. And if they do we become part of the problem imo. It's hard to know if human rights are being violated in regard to any of the goods we purchase, and sometimes I will admit to a "don't ask, don't tell" policy. But when something is thrust in to the light (albeit not quite a human rights situation) I really can't ignore it.
    • Agree Agree x 8
  15. Mass. Wine Guy

    Mass. Wine Guy Mu-43 Regular

    Nov 17, 2015
    Ipswich, MA
    Let's see what B&H says in its legal response to the complaint. I agree that the tactics of some unions and companies have often been horrible. But there is still more strength and protection in numbers.

    If B&H fired people simply because they asked to discuss working conditions, such a pre-Neanderthal response would stop me from buying there again.
  16. RakSiam

    RakSiam Mu-43 Regular

    Oct 11, 2013
    When this story first came up 18 months (?) or so ago it was published by al Jazeera and that raised a lot of spurious claims this it was a biased news source. Frankly since the first story came out I stopped spending money there. My experience at the retail store several years ago wasn't particularly pleasant either which soured me on them somewhat. Now I spend my money at Adorama. Although I've also bought some stuff (including my E-M1 and one of the PRO lenses) from Looking Glass Photo in the SF Bay area. They have nice customer service, but they are not a giant superstore operation. Greentoe is a good option but you don't know who will win that bidding process until after you accept the deal.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  17. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    • Like Like x 2
  18. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    The previous thread about this was closed due to political underpinnings and unacceptable stereotyping of nations/cultures. This one seems marginal and I am getting PMs about that. I don't want to have to close it, so please keep it in well within bounds with regards to our TOS.
  19. kingduct

    kingduct Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 12, 2013
    Thank you for linking to the Times article, as it is often hard to take the Post seriously. This thread has not gone overboard in its response: we are a group of people who do a lot of discussion of shopping for photographic equipment, and for a good lot of us, this could affect our shopping choices.
    • Agree Agree x 5
    • Winner Winner x 2
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