Over $2 million in recovered stolen wages Warehouse employers and temp agencies use a range of schemes to cheat workers out of their pay. WWJ takes action to fight abuses such as missing hours, short checks, illegal paycheck deductions and fees, unpaid show-up pay, payroll card abuses, unpaid overtime, payroll card abuses and more. Over $10 million in wage increases When WWJ opened its doors, warehouse wages averaged $9/hour. Through protests, strikes, petitions, community delegations, public outcry and organizing, WWJ has successfully raised wages in key facilities in the Chicago distribution hub. While some wage rates are still below the $15/hr that workers deserve, these improvements show that when workers organize, things get better.
Paid sick days for temp workers When warehouse workers get sick or need to care for an ill loved one, they are often punished. For temp workers, paid time off is unheard of. But with support from WWJ, temp workers in the import supply chain of a major retailer united their co-workers and forced their employer to offer paid sick days.
An end to the "piece rate" system in large retail distribution centers When WWJ began operation in 2009, warehouse operators commonly paid workers using a piece-rate system. This scheme, often called "production pay", involved paying a team of two workers a set amount for unloading a shipping container. Over time, this rate was lowered to the point where a worker's pay was often less than minimum wage. In addition, workers were not paid time between unloading containers. Through legal tactics and organizing, WWJ successfully eliminated this practice in the largest warehouses in the Chicago distribution hub.
Reinstatement of dozens of workers unjustly fired Most warehouse workers have little job security. But WWJ has worked to win reinstatement for workers who are unfairly fired. We have successfully won jobs back for workers fired for retaliation for speaking up about sexual harassment or safety abuses, as well as workers fired discriminatorily or in retaliation for exercising their right to organize. WWJ assists workers in asserting their legal rights to seek justice when fired unjustly.
Safety improvements in large retail distribution centers Workers shouldn't have to risk death or serious injury so that retailers can continue to make money. Unfortunately, warehouse work is still among the most dangerous jobs in the US. WWJ has won many safety improvements in Chicago area warehouses, including replaces storage racks, new dock plates, heating and cooling systems, better safety equipment, enhanced training and more. In addition, WWJ works closely with OSHA officials to ensure legal compliance in area warehouses.