Business Insider: Retailers struggle to hire warehouse workers ahead of the holidays, with brutal hours and poor working conditions taking their toll, a report says

Hiring warehouse workers in the US is becoming a near-impossible task, with incentives such as free college tuition, sign-on bonuses, and PlayStation prizes failing to attract enough new staff, according to a report by The Washington Post.

The impact of the labor shortage is expected to tighten as the upcoming holiday season nears.

“Every year we say, ‘Wow, this is really difficult’ – and every year, it gets more challenging,” Sabrina Wnorowski, vice president of HR at Radial, told The Post. Radial runs fulfillment centers for brands such as Cole Haan and Aeropostale. Her firm is offering PlayStations as raffle prizes and hosting pizza parties as it seeks to employ 27,000 warehouse workers this year, The Post reported.

Workers are increasingly put off by working conditions, low wages, and lack of career progression in the sector, experts told The Post.

The number of job openings in the warehouse and transportation industry hit record highs in July. Retailers are getting more creative in how they attract these workers, offering financial incentives, free tuition, or lowering the barriers to entry, but it hasn’t been enough to trigger a rebound, The Post reported.

Some experts said the big retailers were partly to blame for this issue. Amazon, for example, has created thousands of jobs in warehouses, and in some local areas has helped to push up wages — but some argue it is has made working conditions worse overall, which eventually puts people off the jobs.

“Amazon is the standard-bearer, and it is dragging down working conditions for everybody,” Irene Tung, senior researcher and policy analyst for the National Employment Law Project, told The Post.

In a statement shared with Insider, a spokesperson for Amazon said that “a large percentage” of workers were “rehires,” without giving any specifics.

Read the full article at Business Insider

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