Second of two parts
Phil Richards used to like his job driving a forklift in a produce and meat warehouse. He took pride in steering a case of beef with precision.
Now, he says, he has to speed through the warehouse to meet quotas, tracked by bosses each step of the way. Through a headset, a voice tells him what to do and how much time he has to do it.
It makes the Unified Grocers warehouse in Santa Fe Springs operate smoothly with fewer employees, but it also makes Richards' work stressful.
"We're just like human machines," said Richards, 52. "But with machines, they don't care whether you feel good, or if you're having a bad...