04/27/22: Amazon, Warehousing & Health in Inland Southern California: Intersectional Feminist Perspectives and Praxis

Amazon, Warehousing & Health in Inland Southern CA: Intersectional Feminist Perspectives and Praxis

About the webinar:

This webinar will address the challenges and prospects for workers’ rights and occupational and environmental health in the age of Amazon and warehousing in Inland Southern California, home to one of the world's largest logistics clusters. Learners will explore more than a decade of predominantly community-based research, including in-depth interviews with 82 current and former Amazon warehouse workers as well as field research on worker and environmental organizing. This presentation will discuss, through an intersectional feminist lens, the exploitative conditions within Amazon and the warehouse industry, and workers’ health and safety concerns both during and prior to the pandemic, from the perspective of warehouse workers, most of whom are Latino, and increasing numbers of whom are women. This presentation will also consider underlying environmental and public health impacts of the warehouse industry, which tends to be concentrated within low-income communities of color, such as Inland Southern California. Public resistance, especially emergent blue-green alliances and intersectional styles of organizing, and legal and legislative strategies to improve the health and safety of warehouse workers and local residents, will also be discussed. 

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this activity, the learner will be able to:

  • Recognize Amazon’s role in the growth of the warehouse industry in Inland Southern California, and how it exacerbates intersecting inequalities, especially those related to environmental health, spatial inequalities, and labor.
  • Describe employment and working conditions, and health and safety concerns, of workers in the warehouse industry, most of whom are Latino and increasingly women.
  • Discuss the challenges of organizing warehouse workers, and the opportunities for collaborating with community, environmental, and other activists across race, gender, and class.
  • Assess the contributions of labor activism and other forms of resistance to state and local legislation to improve workers’ health and safety and environmental health, more generally.

Speaker: Ellen Reese, PhD

Ellen Reese is Professor of Sociology and Chair of Labor Studies at the University of California, Riverside. She is the author of Backlash Against Welfare Mothers: Past and Present and They Say Cutback, We Say Fightback! Welfare Activism in an Era of Retrenchment. She is the co-editor of The Wages of Empire: Neoliberal Policies, Repression and Women’s Poverty and The Cost of Free Shipping: Amazon in the Global Economy. She is currently writing a book on Amazon and the warehouse industry in Inland Southern California with Juliann Emmons Allison.

Speaker: Juliann Emmons Allison, PhD

Juliann Emmons Allison is Associate Professor of Gender & Sexuality Studies and Director of Global Studies at the University of California-Riverside. Her recent work appears in The Oxford Handbook of Energy Politics, ed. by Kathleen J. Hancock and Juliann Emmons Allison, The Cost of Free Shipping, ed. by Jake Alimahomed-Wilson and Ellen Reese, and Energy Research and Social Science. She is currently writing a book on Amazon and the warehouse industry in Inland Southern California with Ellen Reese.

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About the CA Labor Lab:

The California Labor Lab is a collaboration among investigators at UCSF, UC Berkeley, and the California Department of Public Health. The Lab is housed at the Philip R Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies at UCSF. Our mission is to extend the pursuit of health and safety for workers in traditional employment to those in a wide range of alternative arrangements in partnership with affected communities.

Click here to learn more about the Labor Lab.