Wage Theft and Health Care Access among Warehouse Workers in Southern California

Wage Theft and Health Care Access among Warehouse Workers in Southern California
UC Riverside
Juliann Emmons Allison

Currently, more than 40% of consumer goods arriving at the Long Beach Harbor-Port of Los Angeles – which accounts for approximately 25% of the United States’ maritime trade– flow through 800 million square feet of warehouses and distribution centers in the region. About half the 114,000 warehouse workers in the region are immigrants, while 80% are Latino/a, and about 40% are women. At least one-third are employed as temporary workers. This project seeks to extend investigators’ partnership with Warehouse Workers United to document the bad working conditions of warehouse workers in Inland Southern California and related social consequences for the region. Investigators will collaborate with members of Warehouse Workers United, researchers at UCR, UCI, and UCLA to document instances of wage theft and lack of health care access. To investigate these phenomena, workers will be trained to recruit informants and administer a survey in English and Spanish, while researchers will conduct follow-up detailed interviews and legal testimonies on incidences of wage theft. Undergraduate students will help to translate survey responses and enter them into a database. We plan to disseminate our findings through a white paper with the potential to support activism, policy change, as well as academic scholarship. Our findings will be released at a public forum and made publicly available on-line.

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Photo: Ship, Cranes, Containers Port of LA by Jay Bergesen, used under CC BY / Cropped from original