Warehouse Wage Worker

The trials and tribulations of a journalist gone rogue

Broad Perspective

The main addressing point of this article, is that the low wage jobs, such as warehouse work and fulfillment, suck. They are stocked to the heap with goods and are loaded with only the bare minimum of unfortunate souls, to do the hard work. The issue is that these people are being payed very low wages and are working 12 hour days almost every day, with no time off. Not even on Christmas for some of them. At a moments notice they can be fired with or without reason, because the temp agencies that dominate these work forces have lots of easily expendable employees. The most shocking thing, is that is allowed to happen. But, where there is money there is a way, as any greedy capitalist crook would know.


So, one of the issues is in relation to wages. In the article the rogue investigative journalist is hired on at a rate of $7.25/hr. These people are working 12 hour days and are constantly being hassled by supervisors telling them to meet a target goal every day, because time is money in this industry. When you have all of these people making bare minimum wages, working 12 hour days, and being hassled constantly by management, you get a sort of environment that is almost similar to a sweat-shop in industrial China. This practice is not healthy for anyone to have to endure and I feel that the tasks they are completing are extremely essential in our, CLICK-BUY-SHIP-CONSUME, type of population.


Another issue is the complete loss of rights when one takes up a job, such as this. Having a lunch break that is strictly, "29 minutes and 59 seconds" and not, "30 minutes and 1 second" as the management reminds the employees, is quite dictatorial and objectifying to these people. Also, knowing they can potentially lose their jobs for showing emotion, such as crying is outrageous. In the article, their was an example of a man named, Brian who's wife was expecting and she had the baby while Brian was at work, so he left to be with his wife at this amazing milestone in his life and upon exiting the building was terminated. He eventually got his job back, but only after going through the whole process again and losing a week and a half pay.


The problem of not allowing the employees equal rights is also quite prevalent. The employees are put down against by management on a daily basis, hearing things like, "you're doing very bad." The management receives the proper wage and works the same hours, but they don't do the same hard work, they just walk around and yell at those who aren't moving fast enough. I think the most disgusting thing I read was, when the journalist asked the supervisor on election day, "what if I want to vote?" to which he replied, "you should!" leading to, "but, if I leave i'll be fired" ending with, "yeah..."

In this instance, a right that all citizens age 18 and older are entitles to, voting, is being taken away just because they have to ship enough packages to meet their target.

Things I now understand/terms

Terms

Fulfillment centers: I now understand more clearly that fulfillment centers are stocked to the brim with all the goods that the seller has in inventory and that certain employees are given jobs that ensure that these items are properly maintained and cared for in the shipping and handling process.


Temp-workers: Employees that are usually payed under the standard wage, but work the same hours. They are basically contractors who are handled by a temp agency and are often only used during peak season for warehouses, such as Christmas. Though, they can be used permanently.


Target goals: These are goals set by the company in which employees are required to meet by employment contract. The goal at the specific warehouse was 75% target rate. If employees were not working fast enough or performing way under target, then they would be fired and another worker, most likely a temp, would take their place.


I have no things that I did not understand in this article. It was all quite basic and not challenging for me. But, I added some terms at the least.