Warehouse unionization is ideal for communities and workers

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(Stephen Day | Viewpoints)
By Zach Reynosa

Where there are warehouses, there is persistent high demand for workers yet they’re treated as just another cog in a machine. Their voices gone. 

Southern California is home to one of the largest transportation industries in the country. 

It’s not hard to find someone who either is employed at a warehouse in the IE or knows someone who is.

Located in the Inland Empire lies a warehouse mecca which 40% of goods entering the U.S. pass through.

There are around 4,300 facilities from various different companies. Amazon, Lowes, Walmart and several other big corporations set up shop in our backyard. 

They promised these workers new jobs opportunities and investments into the community, yet the workers have been unable to taste the fruits of their labor. 

Instead, they did the opposite by putting the safety of their health in danger  and destroying their communities. 

All this stems from the fact that the company’s main motive is to make a profit whatever the physical or mental toll on the community may be.

Corporations have seen massive increases to their wealth while giving little to no return to its employees. Instead it’s given as bonuses to executives who do none of the labor needed to keep these companies functional.

With an ever growing economic downturn on the horizon and with recent remarks from the US Federal Reserve saying its goals are to “get wages down,” the threat to the I.E. warehouse workers are ever growing and must be prevented at all cost.

The answer: Unionize.

There has been no greater time in U.S. history than now for the workers to take back the life that is owed to them. To finally get a chance to taste the fruit of their labor. COVID-19 has shown what the power of the worker can accomplish. 

There have been efforts from the workers from both the Moreno Valley and the San Bernardino Amazon warehouses to unionize. In the case of the San Bernardino facility, the company had shut down the warehouse for several days around the Christmas holiday without the promise of full pay. Some workers even lost their homes because of these closures.

The corporations willingness to disregard the lives of the workers should not be tolerated. With inflation raising prices of gas, rent and food; a living wage of $23 an hour is needed now more than ever. Which would have been the minimum wage today if it  didn’t stop growing with productivity in the late 1960s.

The benefits of a union outweigh the risks. Union workers get paid 10% more than their non-union counterparts, and receive stronger benefits and  job protection. 

Unionization is the enemy of the corporation because it gives their workers power. 

Remember that 40% of goods arriving in the U.S. pass through the I.E. warehouses. If all the workers decided to go on strike for more benefits and higher pay they’d single handedly halt the American supply chain losing corporations millions of dollars in profits.

Threats to capital will always get the workers what they need. In September, the California railroad workers were going to stop the trains due to the lack of pay and benefits and with a threat of halting the supply chain they were given a tentative agreement.

The workers have more power than they think. However they are always hit with constant anti-union propaganda. Understand that the warehouse workers and our community can put a stop to the destruction of our environment and gain their voices back.

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