California Senate passes warehouse staff invoice, taking purpose at Amazon

Modern warehouse work sometimes unfolds within million-square-foot buildings, which some labor organizers say can make bathroom breaks “logistically impossible.”

Enlarge / Trendy warehouse work typically unfolds inside million-square-foot buildings, which some labor organizers say could make toilet breaks “logistically inconceivable.” (credit score: Jane Barlow | Getty Pictures)

Warehouse staff in California are one step nearer to having the ability to pee in peace. Yesterday, the state Senate voted 26-11 to cross AB 701, a invoice aimed squarely at Amazon and different warehousing corporations that observe employee productiveness. The invoice would stop employers from counting well being and security regulation compliance—and sure, toilet breaks—towards warehouse staff’ productive time, which is more and more ruled by algorithms. The invoice, which organizers name the primary within the nation to deal with the way forward for algorithmic work, is now en path to Governor Gavin Newsom’s desk for signature.

Though some observers anticipate Newsom to signal the invoice given his document on different pro-worker laws, akin to AB 5, he has to date remained mum on AB 701. When requested about his intentions, Newsom’s workplace demurred, saying solely, “The invoice shall be evaluated on its deserves when it reaches the governor’s desk.” (The governor is presently heading off a recall election, which takes place September 14.)

AB 701’s passage got here as welcome information to advocates like Yesenia Barerra, a former seasonal Amazon employee who traveled to Sacramento to marketing campaign for the invoice, serving to stage a mock meeting line on the steps of the state capitol. Barrera staffed the corporate’s Rialto, California, success middle for 5 months till her termination in 2019. When she was employed, she didn’t notice the rigidity of the productiveness system or the extent of Amazon’s camera- and barcode-based worker monitoring matrix. She assumed solely slackers obtained fired.

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