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Workampers Help Amazon Meet Holiday Rush

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December 7, 2012 by   Leave a Comment

To read the entire story and view an accompanying video click here.

It’s 5:30 p.m. outside a huge Amazon fulfillment center in Fernley, Nev., population 19,000. Workers pour out of the doors as a new wave of employees arrive. They’re putting in close to 12-hour shifts round the clock during the final Christmas rush.

As reported by NBC News, some employees leave and go home to RVs, a few of them parked, ironically, in a Walmart parking lot across the street.

These are “workampers,” temporary seasonal workers who roam the country in Winnebagos and Fleetwoods. They’re filling the 31 RV parks around Fernley, east of Reno, to work for another few weeks at a center Amazon has had here since 1999.

“I’ve gotten to know a lot of really cool people, and I’m really going to miss them,” says 50-year-old Sharon Scofield. “But then I’m excited that I get to come back again next year, hopefully, and see them again.”

Scofield and her husband have set up temporary residence at the Fernley RV Park, where 60% of the 49 spots are occupied by members of Amazon’s “camperforce”. Temporary employees are paid about $12 an hour, plus overtime, and Scofield plans to use her income to pay for gas for her Winnebago all year. “The work is hard,” she says. What does she do for fun after hours? “Sleep.”

Amazon says it’s hired 50,000 seasonal workers and may keep some of them after the holidays. Workampers say the company recruits during the off season in places like Quartzsite, Ariz., where many of them winter.

To read the entire story and view an accompanying video click here.

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