We all know working for Walmart means low wages, unpredictable schedules, and few benefits. Still, I was shocked to hear just how bad it is for workers who unload goods headed to Walmart’s retail stores.
At the warehouses in California that supply Walmart stores, the pay is poor, and the working conditions are extremely dangerous. Workers breathe in pollutants and have inadequate access to water and ventilation while temperatures regularly reach 120 degrees inside the metal containers they unload. And if workers dare complain, they face intense retaliation.
We can’t sit on the sidelines. Help us create an outcry so Walmart knows consumers are outraged. Tell Walmart executives to meet with the warehouse workers and put an end to the sweatshop conditions.
More than 85,000 workers labor in California’s Inland Empire warehouses, lifting merchandise out of shipping containers and onto trucks destined for retail stores like Walmart. UCLA surveyed these workers and found that 63 percent are injured on the job.1 While the injuries alone are unsettling, so is the retribution faced by workers in protest. Explains Limber Herrara who works in a warehouse in Riverside, “When we spoke out to change these things…They spied on us and bullied us. I have seen workers fired if they are injured on the job.”
The workers at these warehouses have already written letters, filed official complaints about health and safety violations, and notified Walmart directly about illegal working conditions. What has Walmart done? Ignored them.
Don’t let Walmart off the hook. Urge Walmart to meet with these workers and take responsibility for the dangerous warehouse conditions immediately.
Walmart thinks it can get away with pretending it has nothing to do with inhumane working conditions, even though the company actually has “Standards for Suppliers” that say “suppliers must provide workers with a safe and healthy work environment.”2 But the workers are no longer accepting Walmart’s silent treatment. And neither should we.
This morning, hundreds of workers employed at a Walmart-contracted warehouse finally had enough. They walked off the job to protest the mounting retaliation and unsafe working conditions.
And starting Thursday, they’re going on a 50-mile pilgrimage to Los Angeles to demand to meet with Walmart’s executives. At the end of their march, the workers will deliver a petition to Walmart urging the company to address the unjust, inhumane working conditions.
We have to make sure Walmart knows consumers support these workers and their right to a safe working environment.
Help back these brave workers up! Sign their petition to Walmart TODAY.
Thanks for all that you do for working women and men everywhere,
Hilary, Liz, Jonathan, Ori, and the rest of the American Rights at Work team