Friday, August 28, 2015

Amazon Is A Terrible Company To Work For.......

Last week the NY Times published a story about how awful it is to work at Amazon.
The next day Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos responded saying he was shocked and he did not recognize the company being described.
This response was a comical since Amazon being described as a horrible place to work is not a new story at all. Amazon has been described this way for years.
Nobody ever disputes that it is horrible but everyone just likes to pretend they are shocked. SHOCKED!!!!!!
In 2011 at the Amazon warehouse in Pennsylvania they didn’t have air conditioning. The company refused to open the loading dock doors for fear employees might steal merchandise.
The temperature in the warehouse climbed to 110 degrees and employees began passing out. Amazons solution was to station an ambulance at the warehouse to deliver the abused workers to the hospital faster. The workers who went to the hospital were written up and punished for missing work.
Eventually a doctor at the hospital called the state and complained. Amazon begrudgingly fixed the problem.
Amazon is considered one of the great companies of our current economy. Amazon just passed Walmart (Another notoriously bad company to work for) in market cap. Congrats…..
People think working at Amazon will be a great thing. All the more reason Amazon is able to treat their employees like dog sh*t.
Most employees that work at Amazon will either quit or be fired and that is just fine with Amazon. The company has no problem with people coming and going as long as wages stay low and they can continue treating their workers poorly.
We are told that without capitalism we would have communism……. but if you read the details of how awful it is to work at Amazon you might think that is kind of the same thing as communism.
Instead of the government running your life (and treating you terrible) you have a corporation doing it.
Either way you are still far from free and happy
Amazon’s system of employee monitoring is the most oppressive I have ever come across and combines state-of-the-art surveillance technology with the system of “functional foreman,” introduced by Taylor in the workshops of the Pennsylvania machine-tool industry in the 1890s.
Amazon tags its employees with personal sat-nav (satellite navigation) computers that tell them the route they must travel to shelve consignments of goods, but also set target times for their warehouse journeys and then measure whether targets are met.
All this information is available to management in real time, and if an employee is behind schedule she will receive a text message pointing this out and telling her to reach her targets or suffer the consequences.
Kate Salasky worked shifts of up to eleven hours a day, mostly spent walking the length and breadth of the warehouse. In March 2011 she received a warning message from her manager, saying that she had been found unproductive during several minutes of her shift, and she was eventually fired. This employee tagging is now in operation at Amazon centers worldwide.
Workers would be reprimanded for speaking to one another or for pausing to catch their breath after an especially tough packing job.
The functional foreman would record how often the packers went to the bathroom and, if they had not gone to the bathroom nearest the line, why not.
higher output targets are declared by Amazon management without explanation or warning, and employees who cannot make the cut are fired.
At Amazon’s Allentown depot, Mark Zweifel, twenty-two, worked on the receiving line, “unloading inventory boxes, scanning bar codes and loading products into totes.” After working six months at Amazon, he was told, without warning or explanation, that his target rates for packages had doubled from 250 units per hour to 500.
Zweifel was able to make the pace, but he saw older workers who could not and were “getting written up a lot” and most of whom were fired.
A temporary employee at the same warehouse, in his fifties, worked ten hours a day as a picker, taking items from bins and delivering them to the shelves. He would walk thirteen to fifteen miles daily. He was told he had to pick 1,200 items in a ten-hour shift, or 1 item every thirty seconds. He had to get down on his hands and knees 250 to 300 times a day to do this. He got written up for not working fast enough, and when he was fired only three of the one hundred temporary workers hired with him had survived.
Amazon’s treatment of its employees, a pervasive culture of meanness and mistrust that sits ill with its moralizing about care and trust—for customers, but not for the employees.
the company forces its employees to go through scanning checkpoints when both entering and leaving the depots, to guard against theft, and sets up checkpoints within the depot, which employees must stand in line to clear before entering the cafeteria, leading to what Amazon’s German employees call Pausenklau (break theft), shrinking the employee’s lunch break from thirty to twenty minutes, when they barely have time to eat their meal.
the lengths Amazon was prepared to go to keep costs down and output high and yielded a singular image of Amazon’s ruthlessness—ambulances stationed on hot days at the Amazon center to take employees suffering from heat stroke to the hospital. Despite the summer weather, there was no air-conditioning in the depot, and Amazon refused to let fresh air circulate by opening loading doors at either end of the depot—for fear of theft. Inside the plant there was no slackening of the pace, even as temperatures rose to more than 100 degrees.
On June 2, 2011, a warehouse employee contacted the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration to report that the heat index had reached 102 degrees in the warehouse and that fifteen workers had collapsed. On June 10 OSHA received a message on its complaints hotline from an emergency room doctor at the Lehigh Valley Hospital: “I’d like to report an unsafe environment with an Amazon facility in Fogelsville. . . . Several patients have come in the last couple of days with heat related injuries.”
On July 25, with temperatures in the depot reaching 110 degrees, a security guard reported to OSHA that Amazon was refusing to open garage doors to help air circulate and that he had seen two pregnant women taken to a nursing station. Calls to the local ambulance service became so frequent that for five hot days in June and July, ambulances and paramedics were stationed all day at the depot. Commenting on these developments, Vickie Mortimer, general manager of the warehouse, insisted that “the safety and welfare of our employees is our number-one priority at Amazon, and as general manager I take that responsibility seriously.” To this end, “Amazon brought 2,000 cooling bandannas which were given to every employee, and those in the dock/trailer yard received cooling vests.”
What does it say about our economy when one of the biggest and brightest companies is actually just a modern day sweat shop.
If these giant companies don’t care at all about their workers why would any of the smaller companies?

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