I have been working for over fifteen years in the Freeze Central Mills warehouse. Freeze is a national company that distributes clothes with designs to retail stores. We have worked with
Disney-licensed clothes, such as T-shirts with images of Mickey Mouse, that are sold online at Amazon and sent to stores such as Walmart and Burlington Coat Factory.
In Freeze, we do a lot of work for Amazon. We send complete pallets there every day.
Amazon comes to visit our warehouse but does not pay attention to the conditions of the workers. They do not come close to us.
Amazon announced that they are going to pay $15 an hour to warehouse workers. But this will not do anything for the countless workers like me who work in New Jersey warehouses, sending products to Amazon. In the warehouse where I work, we even had to go on strike simply to force the company to bring up the salaries to $10 and $11 an hour.
We do not have a proper medical plan either. The state of New Jersey is filling up with distribution warehouses. But most workers do not even have permanent jobs. Warehouse workers need and deserve to work in dignity, with permanent jobs, decent pay, fair benefits and the right to organize with a union to insist on better conditions.
It is about time that the state of New Jersey pays attention. Warehouse workers are an important part of the future of this state.
Emilio Barrios a longtime worker at the Freeze warehouse in Dayton, New Jersey.
(Note: this worker asked that his real name not be used, for privacy reasons. Emilio Barrios is a pseudonym)