FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 22, 2021
California Labor Federation
Contact: Sebastian Silva 619-754-3350
California Labor Federation Applauds Governor’s Signing of First-in-the-Nation Warehouse Worker Protection Bill
Statement by California Labor Federation Executive-Secretary Treasurer Art Pulaski
Warehouse workers have long performed extremely dangerous work, suffering job-related injuries at rates almost double the average across the private industry, more so than in mining, forestry and logging, or construction. We applaud AB 701’s author, Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez for fearlessly fighting for warehouse workers’ rights, and we thank Gov. Gavin Newsom for signing this critical bill into law to protect warehouse workers by requiring employers to disclose quotas and work speed standards to workers and state enforcement agencies. The rapid growth of online shopping and on-demand delivery has supercharged the dangers for warehouse workers, bringing increasingly brutal work speeds and soaring rates of serious injury, particularly within booming e-commerce giants such as Amazon and Walmart, which are among the very largest private employers in California.
Warehouse workers come from communities hit hardest by COVID-19 and economic downturn. These brutal conditions have significant implications for our communities of color, given warehouse workers are predominantly people of color. These communities are already struggling with lack of access to health care, inability to quarantine, and disproportionate illness and death from COVID-19. Many workers see no other job options and feel they must accept unsafe conditions to keep a roof over their heads.
We thank the Teamsters’ tireless advocacy for warehouse worker protections and for ensuring that labor laws in the 21st century center worker safety. By passing and signing AB 701 into law, California’s leaders made clear that we must place workers and their safety above corporate greed.