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Wed Jul 25, 2012, 09:49 AM

'They shout at you and harass you': how workers toil at Walmart's US suppliers

Source: The Guardian

'They shout at you and harass you': how workers toil at Walmart's US suppliers


Paul Harris in the Inland Empire, California
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 25 July 2012 14.03 BST

None of the workers loading and unloading Walmart goods at the NFI Crossdock warehouse know exactly what is in the layer of black dust that seems to cover almost everything. But they know its effects.

Their throats burn, and their eyes water. For a few, it gets worse. "I go and blow my nose, and blood comes out with the black dust," said Jose Gonzalez, pictured, a "lumper" at the warehouse, who shifts several hundred Walmart-bound boxes every hour. "Even blowing my nose in the shower, blood comes out. When you spit, sometimes blood comes out," Gonzalez added.

Yet the dust is just one complaint at NFI Crossdock, part of a vast network of warehouses clustered in the Inland Empire: a stretch of southern California desert that now lies at the heart of Walmart's American supply chain.

The NFI Crossdock near the city of Ontario where lumpers like Gonzalez toil in 100F heat sits in the middle of a vast lot of trucks, many of them emblazoned with Walmart logos. The warehouse unloads shipping containers arriving at California ports, and loads them again on trucks taking goods to Walmart stores across America. It is back-breaking work, with strict quotas, low wages and few benefits.

-snip-

Read more: http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/jul/25/walmart-supply-chain-warehouses

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Reply 'They shout at you and harass you': how workers toil at Walmart's US suppliers (Original post)
Eugene Jul 2012 OP
sinkingfeeling Jul 2012 #1
annabanana Jul 2012 #2
Quantess Jul 2012 #3
awoke_in_2003 Jul 2012 #9
gopiscrap Jul 2012 #4
Viva_La_Revolution Jul 2012 #5
pscot Jul 2012 #6
Brigid Jul 2012 #7
Ikonoklast Jul 2012 #8

Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 09:54 AM

1. What? How could somebody criticize this? It's the GOP/corporate dream.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 09:55 AM

2. horrible horrible

Does the American Press have any muckrakers left? Or did they all die out a generation ago>

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Response to annabanana (Reply #2)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 10:05 AM

3. Yes. How come it's always the guardian UK or the BBC

or Der Spiegel where we read blistering critiques of American life, and not so much in domestic media?

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Response to annabanana (Reply #2)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 01:17 PM

9. They all went thebwaynof Uncle Walter...

replaced by talking heads and stenographers.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 10:08 AM

4. This needs to be shown all over the MSM

but it won't because the corporate MSM is a whore for big business!!

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 10:34 AM

5. I was a lumper for a while, among other things

I was desperate for work, so while looking for something perm, I worked for the day-labor place across from my apartment.
The company would order up 5 or so lumpers, who would be supervised by another temp who was placed from another agency (there are tiers. Labor Ready type places for the lowest paid labor, Kelly type for 2nd tier low paid managerial or technical, 1st for exec types). This other temp would be there to keep the lumpers moving as fast as possible.

It used to be that temp agencies were great places to find perm work, I would temp for a few weeks and then get hired permanently. that was years ago. now they just want bodies to fill work quotas for that day and have no interest in the well-being of those bodies. They can just order an new one tomorrow...

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 10:43 AM

6. Organize

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 11:18 AM

7. I just sent this link to Michael Moore.

I also asked why it is that we so often hear these stories from foreign sources like "The Guardian" when we ought to be hearing about them from our own.

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Response to Eugene (Original post)

Wed Jul 25, 2012, 12:50 PM

8. It's not Wal-Mart that employs these guys, it's NFI.

They just happen to be moving Wal-Mart product, but NFI moves freight for a great many different retailers.

If that place would organize, Wal-Mart would stop using them the next day.

Wal-Mart wants nothing to stand in the way of a delivering a smooth supply chain, and a Labor strike would make them drop you as a business partner immediately.

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