In an article from the Sacramento Bee and published by other California-based news outlets, Beth Gutelius, research director for the Center for Urban Economic Development at UIC and senior research specialist with the Great Cities Institute at UIC, addresses the role of pay and working conditions leading to unionization efforts at some warehouses across the country, including at a Dollar General warehouse in the Sacramento area.
The plummeting unionization rate has also come with deteriorating pay and working conditions, said Beth Gutelius, the research director at the Center for Urban Economic Development at the University of Illinois at Chicago who authored the University of California, Berkeley Labor Center’s study on the logistics industry.
“The warehousing industry… has largely been invisible to the public for its entire existence. No one thought of warehouse workers,” she said. “I think the pandemic brought those workers out into the limelight. That matters for the workers themselves but also for the support for the unionization effort.”
Adjusting for inflation, wages in the warehousing industry are lower than they were in 1990, Gutelius said.
“In many cases, it’s very physical work so people are questioning am I getting paid the amount (commensurate with) all the physical tolls?” she said.