College

Arts & Sciences

Department

Sociology, Anthropology & Social Work

Rank

Professor

Type of Work

Journal Article

Publication Information

WorkingUSA: The Journal of Labor and Society · 1089-7011 · Volume 19 · March 2016 · pp. 57–79

Description of Work

Recent research on labor market conditions in the United States points to a rise in 'precarious work,' which is characterized by low wages, unstable and/or temporary work arrangements, underemployment, economic insecurity, and an absence of employer-provided benefits. This article examines the prevalence of precarious work in the growing logistics sector of the U.S. economy and the mechanisms facilitating these working conditions. These domestic developments are placed in the context of the geographic reorganization of production and the restructuring of the employment relationship under a neo-liberal political economic regime. This article highlights two logistics industries, drayage trucking and warehouse/distribution centers (W/DCs)-and the challenges facing workers in these industries. For port truckers, this involves their misclassification as 'independent contractors.' For W/DC workers, the core issue is labor outsourcing and temporary work. The article concludes with an overview of recent labor actions taken to improve conditions for workers.

Included in

Sociology Commons

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Draying and Picking: Precarious Work and Labor Action in the Logistics Sector

Recent research on labor market conditions in the United States points to a rise in 'precarious work,' which is characterized by low wages, unstable and/or temporary work arrangements, underemployment, economic insecurity, and an absence of employer-provided benefits. This article examines the prevalence of precarious work in the growing logistics sector of the U.S. economy and the mechanisms facilitating these working conditions. These domestic developments are placed in the context of the geographic reorganization of production and the restructuring of the employment relationship under a neo-liberal political economic regime. This article highlights two logistics industries, drayage trucking and warehouse/distribution centers (W/DCs)-and the challenges facing workers in these industries. For port truckers, this involves their misclassification as 'independent contractors.' For W/DC workers, the core issue is labor outsourcing and temporary work. The article concludes with an overview of recent labor actions taken to improve conditions for workers.