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Ana November 29, 2010 By Andrew Vidales

The Gilbert Company is a warehouse and distribution center located in Chino, California that specializes in services for the retail market, where employees conduct several types of work, ranging from wrapping to palletizing. Ana, a previous employee at The Gilbert Company, was required to work long shifts, as long as 15 hours a day, for only minimum wage, as well as undergo strenuous work duties, such as wrapping, labeling and truck loading. The working conditions Ana was put into were very demanding and exploitative, and as a result of this, she was injured on the job, after only working for the company for a mere month. Although she was only paid minimum wage for her job, she had to accept the payment due to the situation she was in with her family. The accident affected her in a great deal in which it affected her spinal column, shoulders, arms, as well as her sexual relations. The incident was a result of a wrapping accident; Ana was wrapping an order that was to come out quickly, but as she was wrapping, the plastic gave way and she fell backwards, injuring her back. Ana states that in order to prevent further injuries from occurring in the work place, and also to improve working conditions, is to form a union and/or rid of staffing agencies; these agencies are the culprit for placing workers in appalling working conditions. Immediately after the accident, Ana contacted a doctor, and he said that she could return to work after two days following the injury. The doctor didn’t give her any time to rest nor did he give her any time off from work; he cleared her from any injuries and even said that she didn’t have any injuries. Because of this, she contacted an attorney where he sent her to an additional doctor whom conducted further examinations, telling her that her spine, back and shoulder are indeed injured. Ana was fortunate to contact a lawyer regarding her situation because she states EMPIRELOGISTICS.ORG

that a person without an attorney will more than likely get fired without knowing their rights, which is why it is imperative to contact an attorney to seek their input, she states. Following the accident, Ana contacted Warehouse Workers United (WWU) and is now a member of the organization. Ana knows a lot of workers under the same conditions as her, so to prevent them from being injured on the job, she has been working with the WWU informing workers what their rights are. Ana continues to fight for the warehouse workers rights, even if she becomes evicted from the country, she states, because she wants those who stay behind to have improved working conditions, fair wages, and benefits. The result of all this: workers that are placed in better conditions in the workplace will thus result in increased job satisfaction among employees.



An Interview of Ana