Truck drivers and warehouse workers at Cort Furniture Rental in New Jersey had spent months trying to unionize in the hopes of securing higher wages and better benefits. By early this year, they thought they were on the cusp of success.
But when the coronavirus arrived, Cort, which is owned by Warren E. Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, laid off its truck drivers and replaced them with contractors, workers said. The union-organizing plans were dashed.
“They fired us because we tried to start a union,” said Julio Perez, who worked in Cort’s warehouse in North Bergen, N.J.