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Wal-Mart workers in California protest horrible work conditions

Some work conditions are cushier than others. For example, some workplaces in San Diego might offer spacious lounge areas for employees to conduct meetings or to take breaks, while other workers might be lucky enough to even have a break room where they can comfortably eat their lunch. But whatever the conditions may be, workers deserve to take breaks they are legally entitled to take, and they deserve to work in places that are safe.

In an effort to fight for a better and safer workplace, Wal-Mart warehouse workers concluded a six-day pilgrimage contesting their workplace conditions with a rally in California last week. The workers reportedly braved incredibly hot temperatures to eventually end up on the steps of L.A. City Hall, where they recounted stories about their inexcusable working conditions within the warehouses.

A group of about 50 warehouse workers from a Mira Loma, California, warehouse ended up completing the six-day pilgrimage to demonstrate their unsatisfactory treatment. Employees say that they are forced to work in extreme heat, sometimes up to 120 degrees, without a fan. Workers often vomit and experience bloody noses, thanks to the pollutants in the workplace environment. Many of the employees are denied access to clean water during their shifts, and they work with dangerous equipment without having regular breaks.

The warehouse workers are not directly employed by Wal-Mart, but are instead managed by a staffing contractor that works with the mega chain. Wal-Mart still controls the working environment within the facilities, though, which is why the employees are requesting that Wal-Mart step up and work toward improving the conditions for warehouse workers.

So far, Wal-Mart has not directly responded to any of the employment matters the workers have raised.

Source: Huffington Post, “Walmart warehouse workers rally in downtown LA ends 6-day pilgrimage,” Sept. 18, 2012

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