Tom Friedman: ‘What the hell is Walmart doing in an Arizona warehouse?’

Men and women working in the Arizona warehouses of Victoria, a logistics company, fear they’ll be fired if they refuse to work in underwear and go to the restroom between shifts. Those workers said…

Tom Friedman: ‘What the hell is Walmart doing in an Arizona warehouse?’

Men and women working in the Arizona warehouses of Victoria, a logistics company, fear they’ll be fired if they refuse to work in underwear and go to the restroom between shifts. Those workers said they are all at risk of sexual harassment and assault by supervisors.

Nearly three dozen women interviewed by ProPublica said they had been threatened with dismissal if they didn’t submit to a regimen of demands that included urinating next to long co-workers during bathroom breaks, doing body contortions and seductively touching themselves.

“Every day is frightening,” said Cora Campbell, 43, who was threatened with a firing because she declined a supervisor’s request to take her clothes off.

Workers at Victoria, whose warehouse is just outside Phoenix, and its competitor, American Logistics, have been attacked with glue and told to strip naked and lie in their sleeping bags on the floor for multiple nights at a time, said Maria Sanchez, a 23-year-old temp from Texas who has worked for American Logistics.

The women said the pressure to submit and to keep quiet is so severe they don’t have a choice but to buckle under. Like Victoria, American Logistics is a subcontractor for Walmart and employs thousands of warehouse workers in Phoenix and Mesa. Both companies are based in Massachusetts.

“It’s scary,” Sanchez said, before adding, “There’s a lot of harassment that goes on.”

Scroll down to hear more stories from the warehouse workers and store managers.

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