Independent analysis, studies and court documents on warehouse workers’ jobs, working conditions and the challenges they face.
UC Riverside Report “Unsafe and Unfair: Labor Conditions in the Warehouse Industry” Points to Pressures in the Logistics Industry
July 18, 2012
A study released by the University of California, Riverside shows that labor subcontracting and lack of employer accountability have fostered unsafe and unfair working conditions in the Inland warehouse industry.
The report was written by a research team led by Associate Professor of Sociology Ellen Reese, and it appears in Policy Matters, a quarterly journal published by UC Riverside.
In 2010, 114,000 people were hired in warehouses in the Inland Empire, according to the California Employment Development Department. This workforce is mostly Latino, of which about half are immigrants. Temporary workers who lack benefits and are paid low wages do much of the work.
The study combines information from multiple sources and methods, including secondary literature, survey data, and ethnographic field research, including 17 semi-structured interviews with warehouse workers, warehouse managers, and representatives of temporary employment services.
National Employment Law Project Report Details Walmart’s Negative Effects on the Local Economy
June 6, 2012
Major retailers like Walmart are driving down wages and workplace safety standards on a scale far greater than understood before, according to a report released June 6 by the National Employment Law Project.
The explosion of “domestic outsourcing,” the aggressive practice of contracting warehousing, transportation and goods delivery to a complex hierarchy of contractors and subcontractors, has lowered the quality of jobs in Southern California and disproportionately impacted working Latinos here.
“We worked long days, often 16 hours with no breaks, no time for lunch and no overtime pay. We knew it was wrong, but it seemed like there was no one to talk to to make it better. Things started to change when we stood together in the face of retaliation.” David Acosta, father of three young children, described his experience working inside Southern California warehouses.
The Movement to End Wage Theft
In the report: “A Fair Day’s Pay: The Movement to End Wage Theft”, Nik Theodore, an Associate Professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, examines over a dozen organizations that utilize innovative tactics to combat this illegal practice. Commissioned by the Discount Foundation, the report reviews a variety of local, state and federal strategies driven by grantee organizations to address violations of employment laws.
Shattered Dreams and Broken Bodies: A Brief History of the Inland Empire Warehouse Industry
June 30, 2011
By Warehouse Workers United and Deogracia Cornelio, UCLA Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program. Introduction by Juan de Lara, Ph.D., Dept. of American Studies and Ethnicity
University of Southern California
Download the report Shattered Dreams and Broken Bodies.