Workers: Walmart Contractor Paid $3 to $4 an Hour

Warehouse workers picketing outside Schneider facilities in Mira Loma, CaliforniaLilly Fowler/FairWarning

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.


As if running around a warehouse 10 hours a day, 6 days a week, in sweltering heat, to move an absurdly large quantity of dildoes, toilet paper, and baby food—as Mac McClelland did while working for an onine shipping giant—weren’t bad enough. Try doing it for less than minimum wage.

Workers at a Walmart warehouse in the Inland Empire in Southern California were sometimes paid as little as $3 to $4 an hour, according to former crew leader Jorge Soto, who says he was ordered to falsify employees’ time sheets to cheat them out of fair pay. Workers at this warehouse and two others in the area have filed a lawsuit that claims, among other things, that they were forced to sign blank time sheets which supervisors would then fill in with less than half of the time actually worked, according to a new investigation by Lilly Fowler for the nonprofit news organization FairWarning.org.

The warehouses in question are run exclusively for Walmart. The retailer, however, isn’t named in the suit because the warehouses are operated by an outside contractor called Schneider Logistics, which in turn subcontracts its hiring to two staffing companies—Impact Logistics and Premier Warehousing—an arrangement that helps to cushion Walmart from liability.

Among the alleged indignities, large and small, workers claim they were required to show up every day only to be sent home without compensation when they weren’t needed, told that they would be blackballed from the industry if they raised questions, and even compelled to pay $1 a week to rent a company-branded shirt. Notes Fowler:

Some support for the workers’ complaints has come from an investigation by California labor authorities. October inspections at Schneider warehouses in Riverside County, which together with San Bernardino County forms the Inland Empire, “confirmed stories of abuses in the warehousing industry that must stop,” Julie A. Su, the California labor commissioner, said in a news release.

Based on the inspections, state authorities proposed fines against Impact and Premier of more than $1.1 million. They accused both companies of failing to provide properly itemized wage statements, leaving workers unaware of what they were being paid for their piece work.

“Employers cannot simply make up a piece rate and change it at their whim,” Su warned.

Read the full story at FairWarning.org.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.