The Warehouse Worker Resource Center
Warehouse Worker Resource Center is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3), organization founded in 2011 dedicated to improving working conditions in the warehouse industry in Southern California. We focus on education, advocacy and action to change poor working conditions in the largest hub of warehousing in the country.
We assist workers dealing with issues of health and safety, wage theft and workers’ compensation when injured. We also serve as a community center for workers, family members and supporters interested in knowing their rights, joining with other workers to share experiences and learn from each other, and building a movement for workers’ rights in the Inland Empire and throughout Southern California.
Who are warehouse workers?
Hundreds of millions of tons of goods enter the United States every year through our nation’s busiest ports in Long Beach and Los Angeles. Containers are then trucked through the Los Angeles basin to the Inland Empire, a region encompassing San Bernardino and Riverside counties, where roughly 85,000 warehouse workers, mostly Latino, unpack and reload items onto trucks destined for major retailers like Walmart. The majority of workers are hired through temp agencies, paid low wages, receive no benefits, and have no job security.
Warehouse workers routinely lift heavy boxes – up to 200-pounds – from shipping containers on a piece rate system or for minimum wage for hours and days on end – in some cases 362 days a year. Workers encounter inhumane work speeds, moving up to 450 boxes per hour by hand, pollutants, high temperatures, little ventilation and intense retaliation if they complain about the conditions. Serious injuries on the job are common.
Why Southern California?
Major retailers like Walmart use the Inland Empire, to move their goods to market on the West Coast. The ports of Long Beach and Los Angeles combined are our nation’s busiest and the majority of goods that enter the U.S. from Asia come through these two ports. The Inland Empire is home to the largest concentration of warehouse space on the planet.
Goods are moved from the port along major arteries that run through Los Angeles County like the 10, 210, 710, 60 and 605 freeways to the Inland Empire where warehouse workers unpack and reload items onto trucks and rail containers – a critical link in a supply chain that moves goods from where they are produced to the shelves of retail stores. Workers and communities in Southern California endure dangerous conditions, low wages, unstable work, congestion and pollution as a direct result of this system.
The WWRC is dedicated to improving working conditions in the goods movement sector of Southern California through education, advocacy and action. We believe that jobs in the warehouse industry have the potential to be good jobs and to provide for strong middle class jobs in Southern California.