Beth Gutelius, research director for the Center for Urban Economic Development at UIC and senior research specialist with the Great Cities Institute at UIC, is a featured expert in an article from The American Prospect magazine that looks at the current state of staffing in the warehouse industry.
“People like to talk about warehousing as a replacement for manufacturing,” says Beth Gutelius, a researcher at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “But it’s not a production function like a factory; it’s a circulation function. It doesn’t create goods, it moves them.”
“The profit margins in warehousing as a circulation activity are very tight, so employers look for ways to cut costs, and labor cost is often the first place they look,” Gutelius continues. “Without power, like the unions that were built in manufacturing, frontline workers are forced to absorb this pressure on profit margins by accepting lower wages and worse working conditions.”