Complaints Surface about Dangerous Conditions at Walmart-Contracted Warehouse
Warehouse Workers United filed a complaint yesterday at the California Occupational Safety and Health Administration to bring attention to the dangerous working conditions for warehouse workers in a Riverside warehouse that moves all Walmart supplies.
Workers have been working in dark metal containers with little water and ventilation. They have had to deal with threats, injuries, and a lack of health security that comes from the lack of care for the workers. They state that there has been a black layer of soot on the floor of the warehouse which has reportedly led to nose bleeds and circulates through the open air facility.
“I’m not just doing this for me and my family,” said Jose Gonzalez. “I am doing this for everyone who works at the warehouse. What we deal with is not fair, it’s not humane. I am not afraid. We have to say something.”
This is not the only warehouse that has been found guilty of these charges according to the Warehouse Workers United and OSHA. There are many warehouses in San Bernardino and Riverside counties that have warehouses which have materials come in from Long Beach and Los Angeles ports. They supply directly to Walmart and other big box stores, which have been found of unsafe working conditions throughout the region.
This is the first big public appeal that warehouse workers have brought into the public. Workers wrote in the complaint to Cal/OSHA that there was limited or no access to clean water, high temperatures, broken equipment, and unreasonable and unsafe quotas. They are charged for required safety equipment. Workers are often blocked inside the trailers they are loading for up to 30 minutes with no exit.
The complaint alleges that workers who are injured on the job are denied access to medical care or compensated time for recovery, and are often told that they will be laid off if they can’t work while injured, all in violation of California law.
Warehouse Workers United is an organization committed to improving the quality of life and jobs in Southern California’s Inland Empire. They represent over 85,000 warehouse workers in the region.