Opportunities: Towards a Warehouse Sector Development Strategy

Organizing the Warehouse Sector: Increasing union density in the warehouse sector is probably the number one way to improve working conditions for warehouse workers and to turn traditionally precarious and lower quality warehouse jobs into “good jobs.”

Creating Good Warehouse Jobs and Building an Industry Standard: In order to create “good jobs” in the warehouse sector, workers will need to establish an industry standard with basic minimum thresholds for wages and working conditions, to prevent employers from engaging in their usual ‘divide and conquer’ or ‘race to the bottom’ strategies.

Coming Together as a Sector: Warehouse work often takes place out of the public eye, and warehouse workers sometimes feel invisible and isolated. More coordination across the warehouse sector, between union and non-union workers, and even within unions themselves, will create powerful spaces where workers can build their power, share their victories, and build the development strategy for their sector. More sector coordination will lead to more power in bargaining, where workers will be able to address many of the challenges listed above.

Improving Employment and Labour Standards: At the same time, we must work to improve employment and labour standards. Though these kinds of improvements require resource-intensive campaigns and political organizing, we must strengthen employment regulations and legislation to improve workplace health and safety, create more standard and full-time jobs, and create more accountability and real penalties for bad employers.