Mr. Batsoulis says he was fired from his job as a Cosco dockworker in February after he tried to organize a workers’ committee to raise concerns about safety violations that he said Cosco subcontractors repeatedly ignored.
He said his bosses had blacklisted him several weeks earlier after he left the steering compartment of a crane one snowy morning when the heater broke, leaving his hands too cold and stiff to control the giant machine from his post 15 meters above ground.
“I was jeopardizing my life and my colleagues’ lives,” Mr. Batsoulis said. When he climbed down to warm himself, he said his manager and a Cosco executive chastised him for slowing operations. He said he was not called back to work for another week.
“If you are a worker for Cosco, then you know suddenly how it is to work in the Chinese Republic,” said Mr. Batsoulis, who is now suing the company for unlawful dismissal and unpaid overtime.