shelf life

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by immoimeme, May 16, 2012.

  1. immoimeme

    immoimeme my posts r modded

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    i cant make links on this dumb phone but there is an article called shelf life aka how i worked in a warehouse that MUST BE read. can be found on mother jones or alternet.org the working conditions are inhuman, inhumane. do we really to make others suffer so what is wrong with us?! i am not buying stuff online any more. not when it causes so much pain. its not right. we must change this horrible practice!
     
  2. aliceanne

    aliceanne Well-Known Member

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    You don't have to stop buying online. There is a lot of stuff sold by individuals and non profit organizations - as long as you don't mind it being second hand.

    Stuff in stores come from warehouses too. What do you plan to do?
     
  3. immoimeme

    immoimeme my posts r modded

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  4. Gazpacho

    Gazpacho Well-Known Member

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    I have worked in two warehouses. One was for a small business. The other was for an international company, but the warehouse wasn't nearly as big as the ones in the article. The first warehouse was just starting its online services and sold mainly to other businesses. The second sold about equally online and to physical stores.

    Neither place was a bad place to work because the owners/managers were kind and considerate. The nature of the product and business of the first warehouse was completely different from the warehouse described in the article, so I'll talk about the second warehouse (Company B).

    Working there was downright pleasant in some ways due to efficiency, organization, and good use of automated technology. The warehouses in the articles seem to rely on thousands of workers running through aisles and scrambling to reach things on shelves, dumping them in a plastic bag, sending them to the conveyor belt, and then running across the warehouse for something else.

    That's so inefficient. In the warehouse I worked at, workers were assigned to a small section, and orders were sent to the specific section in batches. Then big forklift-type things raised workers up shelf by shelf and ran along the shelves so they could get everything in that batch. Then the products went onto the conveyor belt and were packed and sealed by human-supervised machines. It was very organized, no chaos.

    It sounds like the warehouses in the articles find it cheaper to hire (and quickly fire) people to run around rather than invest in the technology, physical rearrangement, and procedural organization of the warehouse I worked at. Where I worked, most of the workers had been there for many years, and that in turn made them even more efficient.

    That's a sad testament to how much power companies have over their workers. These workers are desperate for jobs because all the other jobs have moved overseas to factories with even less humane working conditions. The workers are not unionized and therefore have basically no rights. Unions have both major positives and major negatives, and these cases highlight the positives of unions. It's also a sad testament to the lack of legal regulations--or perhaps the lack of enforcement--with regard to working conditions.
     
  5. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Get off my lawn

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    ^^^ This. I LOVED my time in the warehouse. Ours was well organized and we used golf carts if we needed to schlep anything heavy more than a few feet. I loved working in the small parts area... we rode trikes and put stuff in the bike basket. We got extra breaks when it was hot, and free hot chocolate when it was cold.

    Yes, productivity standard were very high, but we retested every three months to make sure that the majority of workers would meet or exceed the standard without hurting themselves or working themselves to death. Good times!
     
  6. PDilemma

    PDilemma Well-Known Member

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    My husband wants a transfer to the warehouse at the company he works at. He has filled in there before and would love to be there full time. It is the best place to work and highest paid in the company if you are not front office.
     
  7. Gazpacho

    Gazpacho Well-Known Member

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    What it comes down to isn't warehouses or online ordering. It's about employee treatment. The article discusses it in the context of warehouses and online ordering, but that's only an illustration of the issues, not the issues themselves.